NFL wants more games in UK, London franchise a 'realistic possibility'


Games in London have become a regular fixture on the NFL calendar, and commissioner Roger Goodell doesn't see that changing anytime soon.

Goodell said on Friday during his annual state of the league address before the Super Bowl that he would like to see the number of games played in the UK grow beyond the three regular-season contests.

And the commissioner did not close the door on a possible future franchise in London.

"The key to our strategy several years ago was to give them the real thing -- regular-season games," Goodell said. "And I think that's worked. I think the fans have appreciated that.

"Every year I go back to London, I see the fans are more sophisticated, they understand the game more, they're following it more. We expect a big audience will be in the UK watching the Super Bowl on Sunday -- Monday morning, their time.

"That's exciting for us."

Goodell noted that the NFL will expand beyond its usual home at Wembley Stadium next season, with one game being played at Twickenham.

The league have also announced a 10-year agreement to play two games annually at Tottenham's new stadium, set to open in 2018, while continuing their deal with Wembley until 2020.

While acknowledging that increasing the number of games can be a "balancing act" when it comes to scheduling and logistics, Goodell also made it clear he remains open to putting a team in London full-time in the future if the NFL feels the market will support it.

"As far as a franchise, let's continue to grow, let's continue to see that excitement and enthusiasm, passion and support, continue to develop," he said. "If it does, I think that's a realistic possibility."

And the NFL's international goals are not limited to the UK, with Goodell confirming Mexico City will host the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders on November 21.