London Mayor Boris Johnson hopes that the new stadium that the Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur FC could spur the NFL to allow a franchise across the pond in the UK. The £400 million has already been agreed upon last July to host two NFL games a year for 10 years.
Tottenham Hotspur FC hopes new stadium will bring the NFL
ESPNFC reports that the new stadium got the go-a-head to build last March and will hold approximately 61,000 people. The Hotspur expect to be in their new home in 2018, and it is being built with the NFL in mind. Soccer or football fans know that professional teams exit one tunnel onto the pitch walking side by side with their opponents, where American Football, the two teams enter the gridiron from two separate tunnels. So the Hotspur stadium is being built with three tunnels.
SB Nation reports that the just released detailed looks at the new stadium, specifically the exterior, and the reaction so far is nothing but positive. The released concept drawings show that the stadium will allow for a lot of natural light. In fact, if fans did not know better, it could be mistaken easily for a new stadium design in the United States. A design any team would be proud to call their home.
The Washington Post reported that a football fan in the UK posed a question to Mayor Johnson on September 23, asking when is the NFL going to set up a franchise in London. Johnson replied that he had high hopes for Tottenham Hotspur FC’s new stadium, and that they are working hard on a deal, indicating that he is serious about a new franchise coming to their shores.
The U.S.’s professional football league has been popular for a long time on the other side of the pond, both with the NFL Europe and NFL teams playing games there. The following is big, and while football in the UK is soccer in the U.S., Londoners seem to have a hankering for the American version at the highest level on a permanent basis.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated that the league is committed to creating the best possible experience for fans, communities and teams, and that appears to be something shared with Tottenham and the Premier League. So, what it all means is nothing, other than a really nice stadium is going to be built that will host at least two NFL games a season. While it could lead to an actual franchise, the idea of travel must be taken into consideration as well and timezone differences. While London may want an NFL team real bad, one playing on the same pitch as the Tottenham Hotspur FC may not be logistically feasible for an entire season.
Commentary by Cletus Dillwood