NFL In England?

By Tracy Cole, American Football fan in the UK

Once upon a time NFL fans in the UK were but a few, fast forward to the 21st Century and the game we call ‘American Football’ has grown enormously.
The UK is mostly known for its love of Soccer, Tennis, Rugby etc…but don’t be suprised when the NFL comes to London you see thousands of fans in their favourite team’s jersey’s. Over the 3-4 days that the NFL is in London different activities are taking place from pre-game parties to seeing the teams cheerleaders do their thing.
On game day Wembley Stadium is full of fanatics just wanting to see the game that most will only ever see on tv on a Sunday evening. Wembley Stadium seats up to 90,000 people and so far the NFL has had no difficulty selling out all these games.
I am a HUGE Ravens fan and would go to one of these London games if i could get tickets even though it’s not MY team playing, the atmosphere is supposed to be electric and the love and support for this game in the UK has been overwhelming. I get the impression from other NFL fans that the more games that are played over here the bigger the fan base becomes.
Maybe its because they are sick of seeing overpaid soccer players take dives every minute of the game or the poor refereeing decisions? Who knows….What I do know is that the hard hitting fast paced games of the NFL are definately becoming more and more popular.
The American Football bug has spread throught England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland not only do we have a love of the game but a love for our favourite teams. I know of around two thousand Ravens fans in this Country alone !!.
In 2013 the 2 games at Wembley Stadium sold out, the 3 games we have in 2014 are going the same way. It seems us Brits just can’t get enough of this American game.
So would a Franchise in the UK be viable. I’m no expert on ‘What makes good business sense’ but what i do know however, is that American Football in the Uk has been re-born, fans from all across the UK flock to London to watch the games and spend their wages on merchandise that the nfl bring over, I also know tickets that are sold for all the games (block) sell very fast indeed and are more popular than single game tickets, as ive said before these games do sell out!. I get the impression that the nfl experiment has been a roaring success, we have gone from having two games in 2013 to having three games in 2014. I also know in some instances it is cheaper to see an nfl game than to go and watch a soccer match and in my opinion nfl is definatley more entertaining and value for money than soccer is especially when an hours nfl game can last for four.
It does seem to be a good idea to have our own franchise, but only time will tell i suppose, would fans of teams in the states switch their allegance to their local team ?? thats a question only they can answer.
As for me would I ever switch teams, HELL NO!!! I am now, and forever will be a Baltimore Ravens Fanatic!!!!
Tracy Cole.

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