Some people in the UK might simply refer to it as a “shit version of rugby” but if the NFL makes it through the other side of the current lockout, the centre of the iGaming universe, London, will again play host to a regular season match up.
Since the NFL decided to decamp to London for the first leg of the NFL International Series back in 2007 every edition has been a near sell out. This year’s game, if it takes place, will see the Chicago Bears visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 23. The Bucs make their second appearance at Wembley after they were the whipping boys for New England two years ago.
As an aside, it’s interesting to note that the Bucs have now come over as the designated home team twice. Add to this the fact that their owner, Malcolm Glazer, also owns Manchester United and you can see why the talk of the English Premier League (EPL) hot stepping over to the US for a game is always plain to see.
In a statement, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said, “Our past four games in London have demonstrated the tremendous passion for NFL football that exists in the UK.”
The bookies will also be happy that the NFL is set for a return to the UK after the past four games have seen a spike in betting and those novelty odds on whether the country will get a franchise will be out for all to see.
It comes after the NBA played two regular season “Deron Williams fest” games last month and shows that North America’s leagues are still looking at aggressive expansion into other markets. It remains to be seen whether the EPL decides that it should be moving the other way.