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Old 08.04.2019, 07:55 AM
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Default Bengals / Rams 6th October

The latest rumours:

Bears / Raiders - 22 Sep

Texans / Jags - 29 Sep

Bengals / Rams - 6 Oct

Panthers / Bucks - tbc (but looking at the back to back nature of the first three 13 Oct could be a possibility?)

Chiefs / Chargers (Mexico) 24 Nov
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Old 08.04.2019, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Pedal Bin View Post
The latest rumours:

Bears / Raiders - 22 Sep

Texans / Jags - 29 Sep

Bengals / Rams - 6 Oct

Panthers / Bucks - tbc (but looking at the back to back nature of the first three 13 Oct could be a possibility?)

Chiefs / Chargers (Mexico) 24 Nov
October 13th falls in the international window for European qualifiers, so Spurs will not have a game this weekend. I would guess that White Hart Lane will definitely host a game this weekend.
The next international window is November 16th-17th, but I feel this is later than any London games in previous years...
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Old 08.04.2019, 01:27 PM
kaldenavn kaldenavn is offline
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All three rumoured London dates were published (then removed) by Prime Sport in early March. They are the official travel package provider to Oakland, Houston, Jacksonville, Cincinnati, Carolina, and both Los Angeles teams. So they seem a reasonable source.

The only season the league has not played a game in London on the last Sunday in October was the lockout-affected season in 2011, when they played it a week earlier. So that seems a reasonable guess for the remaining game.

My guess would be the Bears and Raiders at Tottenham, followed by consecutive games at Wembley before returning to Tottenham at the end of the month. There is a lot of logistic value to that.

Wembley is cheaper if those games are played consecutively as you only need to convert the stadium once, rather then the extra time needed to do it twice.

And being a new venue to the league, a month between those in Tottenham allow the possibility of making changes if any issues arise after their first experience of the stadium.

It would also offer a contingency option is for some reason they need to switch to Wembley again, though that should be a very low risk now.

With dedicated facilities it is possible for both soccer and NFL to be played in the same weekend in Tottenham, in theory even on the same day. But whilst it is still all new I would expect they would simply request to play away on the same weekend as an NFL game is scheduled.

And October 6th is not a problem for Wembley as England will playing away games during that international window.
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Old 08.04.2019, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Pedal Bin View Post
The latest rumours:

Bears / Raiders - 22 Sep

Texans / Jags - 29 Sep

Bengals / Rams - 6 Oct

Panthers / Bucks - tbc (but looking at the back to back nature of the first three 13 Oct could be a possibility?)

Chiefs / Chargers (Mexico) 24 Nov
Oh FFS... more blocks of games in a row. Though if it is 4 in a row that means missing the usual weekend where our clocks have gone back but the American ones haven't. That's been a standard weekend for a long time.

I think this proves to me the NFL has zero interest in bringing a franchise here. It's all just a string-along. For a while they talked about "the next test" for game scheduling in terms of seeing whether fans would show up but it's clearly all rubbish. Other than the Titans circa 2015 what team has 4 home games in a row? What team has 3 home games in a row every year? We haven't had any games in December yet, and only 2 in November (both early in the month, none for 4 years). You'd think games in November and/or December were absolute certainties for a franchise, wouldn't you? And I think it's a bit much to get people to give up 3 or 4 Sundays in a row (or weekends in a row for some of you) for NFL ahead of families or other things. If you spread it say week 3, week 6, week 9, week 12 it's a lot more palatable. I think it's also probably more enjoyable for fans too like that.
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Old 08.04.2019, 11:19 PM
kaldenavn kaldenavn is offline
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What team has 3 home games in a row every year?
All of the transatlantic ones.

Seriously though, if has often been discussed that a London franchise would likely to play their games in such blocks to reduce the impact of travel. Which is usually given as the biggest logistical problem and meaning such a team could never be competitive. I am sure I remember it originally being part of the justification for the league wanting to test whether fans turn out to consecutive games.

Quite possibly a London team would play in two blocks of three games and one block of two, both home and away.

And whilst teams are offered a subsequent bye week, that only allows games to week eleven in mid-November. And there is usually an international window around that time limiting Wembley's availability as England will usually be at home then.

But there was already a week ten game in 2014. And having games in weeks three and four will encourage teams to delay their bye week, which will then make it easier to argue that such byes are not necessary. Only four teams have not taken a subsequent bye, but those were all after games in those weeks.

I also would not be surprised if there were concerns about playing on a grass pitch later in the year, when the perceived risk of rain is higher. That is not a problem with Tottenham having a dedicated artificial field. It also gets around the problem of having to fit around England soccer games.

But I do not see any team easily giving up a home game in December when they would hope to be fighting for a playoff position. There is only so much the league can force them to do.
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Old 09.04.2019, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by kaldenavn View Post

And whilst teams are offered a subsequent bye week, that only allows games to week eleven in mid-November. And there is usually an international window around that time limiting Wembley's availability as England will usually be at home then.

But there was already a week ten game in 2014. And having games in weeks three and four will encourage teams to delay their bye week, which will then make it easier to argue that such byes are not necessary. Only four teams have not taken a subsequent bye, but those were all after games in those weeks.

I also would not be surprised if there were concerns about playing on a grass pitch later in the year, when the perceived risk of rain is higher. That is not a problem with Tottenham having a dedicated artificial field. It also gets around the problem of having to fit around England soccer games.

But I do not see any team easily giving up a home game in December when they would hope to be fighting for a playoff position. There is only so much the league can force them to do.
Teams can and do give up later season games for Toronto and Mexico City. Distance and time zone? Maybe, yeah. But then those things aren't going to change. Any team here is going to have to play late November or December games. I wouldn't worry about England games at Wembley - there is no way any franchise would be at Wembley, it would be at Tottenham. Or more accurately, it will be nowhere.

I just think the NFL should be more upfront that the franchise isn't really under consideration at all. I think it's just something they string us along with to create media discussion and fan interest, but they have no plans to actually pursue it. We are no closer to a franchise than we were 5 or 10 years ago. Maybe it's not what UK fans want anyway. I advocated it because I no longer get excited by games in which I have no rooting interest and I think over time many others will go the same way once the novelty of having seen a few games has worn off. I'll go to 1-2 games in London if they don't clash with the Steelers game, but purely these days as it is minimal effort for me as I'm local. I wouldn't travel in. If I'm travelling I'm travelling to see my team play. Fingers crossed for this year... some plans in the pipeline.... I've heard nothing to suggest the Steelers are coming back here any time soon. If anything it's Mexico from what I've heard.

By the way, on rain and grass in London, it is worth noting that the wettest month of the year in London is pretty consistently October, when most IS games are played.

Last edited by European Bob; 09.04.2019 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 09.04.2019, 09:38 AM
kaldenavn kaldenavn is offline
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The Mexico City games have all been in week 11, which is probably another reason why London ones have not played that late: to keep them separate. Admittedly in the first two years the teams did not have subsequent bye weeks, although both times Oakland had theirs the week before. However the byes were scheduled straight after last year, so maybe the teams collectively still want to have that option even if some decline to take it.

The travel burdens on the season of Buffalo moving a home game by 60 air miles or a two-hour drive to Toronto, well…

I agree a franchise would be at Tottenham and not Wembley, but that had obviously not been an option until now so England games has always been an issue with scheduling later in the season. And as their first time in a new venue they will want to keep things simple this year so they can learn from the experience before trying anything new.

As for the weather, I did say "perceived risk" quite deliberately! Back in the early days I had an argument with a journalist on a blog where he cited rain statistics as a reason against a London franchise. Nothing would sway him, not even pointing out historic weather that showed very few days with even drizzle at 6m on Sundays between September and December, nor my actual experience of living here. The perception is that rains almost constantly is not an uncommon one with Americans.

But if you think they are not really considering a franchise, why do you think they are playing games that do, and always will, lose the league money? The profitability of the games and associated benefits are outweighed by the added costs of playing them. NFL owners are not people known for throwing away money for small benefits (development benefits from NFL Europe) let alone for nothing.

And the opening of a new stadium this year, into which the league invested for its own permanent dedicated NFL facilities, and a separate field, does not move a franchise closer?

The lack of a suitable venue was a major logistical problem. Wembley not only being arguably too large, but having to work around scheduling conflicts and the constant construction and removal of temporary facilities such as locker rooms.

To me a suitable home stadium is far more important to making a franchise viable than playing a random game in December.
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Old 09.04.2019, 12:17 PM
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Don’t they usually have a game on the last Sunday of October when the clocks move back one hour? That would mean a 1.30pm kickoff as that’s the only weekend when the early games start at 5pm GMT as the USA change their clocks the following week.

Wembley can still be used mid October as England play two away games in Czech Rep and Bulgaria on Oct 11 and Oct 14.

Last edited by boknows34; 09.04.2019 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 10.04.2019, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by kaldenavn View Post
As for the weather, I did say "perceived risk" quite deliberately! Back in the early days I had an argument with a journalist on a blog where he cited rain statistics as a reason against a London franchise. Nothing would sway him, not even pointing out historic weather that showed very few days with even drizzle at 6m on Sundays between September and December, nor my actual experience of living here. The perception is that rains almost constantly is not an uncommon one with Americans.
Well facts don't matter anymore. If there's one thing we've learned in the last 3 years, this is it. And yes, London actually has lower annual rainfall than Miami, New York, Rome and a lot of other places. We just don't get a lot of sunshine either. Lots of dry, cloudy days. Miami and Tampa have ridiculous rainfall in the early part of the season. Early afternoon storms is one reason the Bucs try to have as many 4:25pm kickoffs as possible early in the season.

Mind you, I think English fans get things wrong about weather in America too, so it's not all one-sided. I remember seeing someone on another thread talk about 'the cold' in Seattle, for example. Actually, in terms of real proper cold, you are more likely to get that in a December game in Tennessee than you are in Seattle. Places that can be 38 celsius in summer can be -6 celsius in winter. That's America. Seattle is pretty mild - in fact by far it is the NFL city with the weather most similar to what we get in London.


Quote:
But if you think they are not really considering a franchise, why do you think they are playing games that do, and always will, lose the league money? The profitability of the games and associated benefits are outweighed by the added costs of playing them. NFL owners are not people known for throwing away money for small benefits (development benefits from NFL Europe) let alone for nothing.

And the opening of a new stadium this year, into which the league invested for its own permanent dedicated NFL facilities, and a separate field, does not move a franchise closer?
Time will tell, I guess. By far the biggest driver though will be someone needing to get out of their existing US market.

I don't buy the loss-making point. There are 2 ways to look at this: (1) how much money did we make on the actual game, and (2) what are the consequences of doing that game for the long-term fanbase?

It's the latter that is key. The NFL London games got me back into the sport after a decade-long hiatus. Now, is the money they make on me limited to the price I pay for my ticket (call it £60) and what I buy on game day (usually nothing)? Or is it everything else too? I have bought jerseys, baseball caps, beanies. Not on game day, but usually online purchases at other times. I bought NFL gamepass - that's about £150 a year, isn't it? I forget. But it's an automatic purchase for me and has been for the last 8 or so seasons. I buy Sky Sports on an as/when basis usually just so I can watch the Steelers when they are on. I'm watching the shows and sucking up the adverts, which the NFL sells. I've been over to America multiple times to see games, spent money there both on the NFL (tickets, concessions) and in the wider economy - both NFL merchandise from local vendors (you get a lot more choice of Steelers gear in Pittsburgh, surprisingly!) and various other things from hotels to food to transport. I want more football. I will keep spending money on football above and beyond merely London game tickets.

That's the value of the London games. You are generating interest in the game, growing the fanbase, growing the exposure. It increases sales in other products, byproducts, advertising revenue etc etc. Without the IS games, I'm not sure the game here has the same profile. And lower profile means lower fan interest and lower spend.

I have to say, I would love to know where the spend goes on the games and how it stacks up to the revenues. I'm sure spend does outweigh revenue, I don't doubt it and I've heard it before in multiple places. But I wonder how much of it is unnecessary spend. Remember when the Jets brought everything bar the kitchen sink with them? Toilet roll etc. As if they were going camping or to the third world. I wonder if the whole operation is that needlessly micro-managed.

Last edited by European Bob; 10.04.2019 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 10.04.2019, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by boknows34 View Post
Don’t they usually have a game on the last Sunday of October when the clocks move back one hour? That would mean a 1.30pm kickoff as that’s the only weekend when the early games start at 5pm GMT as the USA change their clocks the following week.
Every year except one so far, I think.
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