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First 40,000 Tickets for NFL in London Sold Out


lopernv

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And yet they couldn't support the NFL sponsored London Monarchs at the same venue.

First of all, it's not the same venue. The London Monarchs played at the original Wembley Stadium. The Bears-Dolphins game will take place at the new Wembley Stadium.

Second, you're making an "apples to oranges" comparison with regard to WLAF-versus-NFL attendance figures. There would be a significant difference between the amount of support fans would pledge to a London-based NFL franchise and the support that was given to a team in an NFL-sponsored developmental league.

Finally, the London Monarchs actually averaged a very respectable 40,483 fans-per-game during their inaugural, World Bowl Championship season at the original Wembley Stadium. A drop to a 2-7-1 record in 1992 certainly had a negative impact on attendance, which resulted in management opting to move the team to White Hart Lane in 1995. That the league was coming off of a two-year hiatus in 1995 - combined with the fact that the gridiron pitch at White Hart Lane was only 93-yards long - probably had a great deal to do with the Monarchs' average attendance dipping to 16,000-plus for the season. The subsequent decision to have the newly rebranded England Monarchs barnstorm from venue to venue beginning in 1997 certainly didn't help attendance matters.

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And yet they couldn't support the NFL sponsored London Monarchs at the same venue.

First of all, it's not the same venue. The London Monarchs played at the original Wembley Stadium. The Bears-Dolphins game will take place at the new Wembley Stadium.

Second, you're making an "apples to oranges" comparison with regard to WLAF-versus-NFL attendance figures. There would be a significant difference between the amount of support fans would pledge to a London-based NFL franchise and the support that was given to a team in an NFL-sponsored developmental league.

Finally, the London Monarchs actually averaged a very respectable 40,483 fans-per-game during their inaugural, World Bowl Championship season at the original Wembley Stadium. A drop to a 2-7-1 record in 1992 certainly had a negative impact on attendance, which resulted in management opting to move the team to White Hart Lane in 1995. That the league was coming off of a two-year hiatus in 1995 - combined with the fact that the gridiron pitch at White Hart Lane was only 93-yards long - probably had a great deal to do with the Monarchs' average attendance dipping to 16,000-plus for the season. The subsequent decision to have the newly rebranded England Monarchs barnstorm from venue to venue beginning in 1997 certainly didn't help attendance matters.

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Football is football. You either like it or you don't. Sure, if a city has a choice between a major level or minor level team they'll go for the larger team every time. But when there's only one choice on the menu you go for it wholehearted. Jacksonville, Florida is a good example. In many ways there are other cities out there bigger, richer, and more able to support an NFL franchise. But because this city had done so well supporting a smaller team in the USFL's Bulls (and yes despite the League's best effort they were much smaller than the NFL) Jacksonville was remembered as the little city that could. I have no doubt it was this support for the smaller team that led to them getting the NFL Jaguars. London has no excuse of being small, rather it's the fact they are trying to support a sport that did not originate in their land against a sport or which they are as passionate as any of the world's greatest fans.

That first year (1991) when their attendance figures were doing well, the team went 9-1 (and probably should have been 10-0) Not to mention the championship was held at Wembley, where they also won, with an attendance of around 60,000. Things were looking great for the Monarchs. The next year however, the novelty wore of and the team took a tumble in the standings (2-7-1). The fans seemed far more fair-weather when the Monarchs stopped being the juggernaut they were the previous season. By comparison the Frankfurt Galaxy who was also in a "sophomore slump" were doing much better with their fans. Syill it wasn't until the League's hiatus and subsequent return that really did the team in.

The team came back when the the NFL revived the WLAF/NFL Europe, but it became harder and harder for the team to scrounge up a fan base. One of the reason's for them having a hard time finding a new stadium was failing to convince owners of soccer stadiums that it was worth letting them tear up their turf- especially if they couldn't sell out the stadium. Although in the palyers' defense the team and league should have tried harder to find an acceptable venue. Yes, the team fell victim to some poor management and coaching, but there still should have been enough fan base to have stability if not strength. One of the main reason they became the nomatic England Monarchs their last year of existence was that London was no longer a market willing to support the team for a full season. They figured they could get several smaller communities to support the team for one game apiece ,thinking they'd have a more reliable market a la Green Bay. It didn't work.

Bottom line is if a market refuses to support the smaller team of American players, it's unlikely the support is going to improve dramatically enough to support the larger team that requires a much larger and stable fan base to be financially viable. Now while London has shown they can support exhibition games (and one USFL game) I'm not convinced they look at American football as anything other than a niche sport. It's a novelty at a collective best. If a city in the US got a Premier soccer team, I don't think they'd find enough support to make it viable. The exhibition games held here between the world's elite teams have a hard enough time getting a draw here, and while I do think there's enough passion for a single game, I believe there not enough to support a team for an entire season- especially if they were getting clobbered regularly by the other teams. That's kind of how cities outside North America view American Football. Even in Germany where it's doing alright (but still regularly losing money), it's still considered a novelty- not a staple. If the league closed shop tomorrow (and there have many threats of it doing just that) it wouldn't have anywhere near the outcry that some people would believe.

London can support individual games held within its city, and I know firsthand of many American football fans in the UK, but I'm not convinced that they can regularly support a team- especially if they are performing poorly for a few seasons. Perhaps that could change with better management in the front office, but at this time I don't see it happening.

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Football to Europe is like Soccer to the United States.

When some big tournament (ex World Cup) comes around, it generates a buzz. For the most part, the country doesn't care. The same is for the NFL over there. Yeah, they want to see it, but the novelty will wear off sooner rather than later. Next, you're going to have some teams locked into a game (probably an important one) that is 20 hours away, losing a home game, and has 10,000 fans singing like it's a soccer match.

Quick exhibition buck, grab it. Long-term or regular season, think twice.

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Football is football. You either like it or you don't. Sure, if a city has a choice between a major level or minor level team they'll go for the larger team every time. But when there's only one choice on the menu you go for it wholehearted.

If only that were true. :rolleyes:

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The National Football League is arguably the best-marketed major professional sports entity in the world. Period. It is the apex of gridiron football competition on the face of the planet. It is a spectator sport consumer brand second-to-none.

In other words, it is not a minor-league, a la the World League of American Football or NFL Europa. Comparing fan support and attendance for the London Monarchs of the World League of American Football to the support that regular-season NFL competition would garner is a fool's errand. Even without understanding every single nuance of gridiron football, English sports fans - English consumers - realize that there is an inherent difference in the quality of NFL-calibre major professional football and the brand of developmental minor professional football contested in the WLAF/NFLE.

Bottom line? If the NFL gives the London marketplace meaningful, regular-season games, either as part of a 17th week of league competition or through the eventual granting of an expansion franchise to the city, a London-based team will draw 60,000 to 70,000 fans per game (expatriate Americans, London-based NFL enthusiasts, NFL gridiron aficionados from throughout Britain). Count on it. That is the power of the NFL brand.

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I'd love to see NFL Europa as it known now expand to Italy, Ireland, and maybe even France too. It would really help the NFL gain popularity over there faster.

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I'd love to see NFL Europa as it known now expand to Italy, Ireland, and maybe even France too. It would really help the NFL gain popularity over there faster.

Italy and Ireland have potential, and I think an other team in London is worth a shot, but not France. They won't even go to Euro-Disney. I doubt they'd embrace American football.

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I'd love to see NFL Europa as it known now expand to Italy, Ireland, and maybe even France too. It would really help the NFL gain popularity over there faster.

Italy and Ireland have potential, and I think an other team in London is worth a shot, but not France. They won't even go to Euro-Disney. I doubt they'd embrace American football.

I just hope the Irish don't confuse NFL Europa with the Allianz NFL (or for that matter the National Hockey League with the National Hurling League ^_^)

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I think the Ireland, Italy and London ideas are good. But I think, that they should develop the areas surrounding Germany and Netherlands and expand outwards.

Wembly holds 90K, I would say that they'd get it 90% full for the exhibition match, which would mean its more largely attended than the SuperBowl is (but not as much as the AFL GF).

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I'd love to see NFL Europa as it known now expand to Italy, Ireland, and maybe even France too. It would really help the NFL gain popularity over there faster.

Italy and Ireland have potential, and I think an other team in London is worth a shot, but not France. They won't even go to Euro-Disney. I doubt they'd embrace American football.

I just hope the Irish don't confuse NFL Europa with the Allianz NFL (or for that matter the National Hockey League with the National Hurling League ^_^)

Don't you now the first rule when dealing with North American sports on different continents? The North American games are inherently better, and therefore will overshadow the weak leagues of the natives ^_^

I'm willing to wager that after a season of NFL Europa Ireland won't even be able to remember what a soccer ball is :upside:

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I'd love to see NFL Europa as it known now expand to Italy, Ireland, and maybe even France too. It would really help the NFL gain popularity over there faster.

Not a bad idea! Roma and Milano perhaps along side Dublin?

I'd love to see NFL Europa as it known now expand to Italy, Ireland, and maybe even France too. It would really help the NFL gain popularity over there faster.

Italy and Ireland have potential, and I think an other team in London is worth a shot, but not France. They won't even go to Euro-Disney. I doubt they'd embrace American football.

The French are acutaully the highest attendees at Disneyland Resort Paris second only to the British.

On the subject of NFLE in France, I seem to remember Paris, Toulouse and Lyon were rumoured years ago.

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I happen to think one of the biggest problems that the NFL has is it takes a lot of men to play and a lot of equipment. Think about what are among the two most popular sports in the world that translate everywhere: football (soccer to us Yanks) and basketball. Each requires not too many people and not much more than a ball. Everyone everywhere can get into that because they have the resources and can get out and try it themselves. The majority of areas just don't have the resources to accomodate American football, and so when they see it, it truly is foreign to them. The NFL has been trying to grow the product abroad for decades with minimal success. They need to concentrate keeping their product on top at home and just concede the international stage until the rest of the world can catch up, in more than a few ways. It's not a knock on the rest of the world, it's more a knock on the NFL not knowing their market and target audience.

Keep the league on top, and when it truly is time to expand, start with such far-reaching places as Toronto, or maybe Mexico City, and then go transatlantic.

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Keep the league on top, and when it truly is time to expand, start with such far-reaching places as Toronto, or maybe Mexico City, and then go transatlantic.

Keep your league out of my country, please. I enjoy the CFL far too much to watch the NFL kill it slowly by placing a team in the centre of the universe.

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