London has been selected as the only city in 2007 to host an NFL game outside of the United States. The city of London will have the NFL game played between late-September to mid-October. As of right now, the favorites to play in the game are the Giants and Dolphins, but the final decision has not yet been made.
This decision comes to globalize the NFL. The NBA has done a great job of making itself known around the world, and MLB is also in the process of doing the same thing. Roger Goodell wants to make that happen with the NFL, and is doing so by playing games outside of the U.S.
The most likely venue is the new 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium, which will open this spring after years of delays. The other candidate is 82,000-seat Twickenham, home of English rugby.
"We're looking at both venues in terms of their readiness," said Marc Waller, vice president of NFL International. "It's important that we understand terms of readiness of both stadiums and then a financial bidding process will also ensue."
Goodell will announce the teams, venue and date before the Feb. 4 Super Bowl in Miami.
NFL owners voted in October to play up to two games outside the United States every season for the next five years. The London game will be the only overseas contest in 2007.
Germany, Canada and Mexico have been identified as the other top markets for NFL games outside the United States.
"We eliminated Toronto after agreeing with the Canadian Football League that we wouldn't go there because it was already hosting the Grey Cup," Goodell said. "Mexico was discussed, as well as Duesseldorf and Hamburg."
Personally, I don't like the idea of playing outside of the U.S. The NFL is an American league that has zero teams outside of the U.S. Plus, the traveling to a different country obviously affects the teams playing, not that everyone minds that.
I guess my real gripe is that this could become more common and the NFL could start to go "global" too much. It is okay to do this every once and a while, but an every year thing wouldn't be a great thing. I understand where the league is coming from in the sense to reach fans in other countries, but please, keep it in America.