7 Foreign Cities That Should Host a Super Bowl
From the NFL's experiment with NFL Europe, to "The International Series" the National Football League has been trying various methods to increase the popularity of the sport from a global perspective.
One other potential avenue would include moving the Super Bowl game to some international location.
While the idea has been kicked around, what are the best foreign locations that would ensure a positive experience for the teams involved, and for the safety of the fans of that team that would be involved in an "international road trip?"
We are going to look at seven potential foreign options to explore how strong a choice they would be to host a future Super Bowl game.
I wouldn't be extremely surprised if Toronto, Canada was the first "foreign" city selected to host the Super Bowl. Toronto already plays host to one regular season game each year (starting in 2008) as part of the home schedule of the Buffalo Bills.
Attendance had been mixed, partly because the Bills continued to have losing records and lost their first three games in Toronto.
Another reason for weaker attendance was that the ticket prices were astronomical, as the organizers tried to recoup some of the fees they paid out to Bills owner Ralph Wilson.
Toronto as a city is an outstanding location. It is known as a very clean city, and the travel to Toronto would be extremely manageable compared to trips to Europe.
It is also close to Niagara Falls, giving fans a chance to check it out in the winter, when the colored lights at night present a very unique viewing.
This choice to me would represent the most logical selection.
Mexico City, Mexico
When the NFL decided to start their International Series in 2005, the very first venue that they selected was Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico. The game attracted an attendance figure of 103,467, which is far superior to what most NFL stadiums can house.
The travel to Mexico City is reasonable, but there are other factors that would bump Mexico City further down the list. The city itself is very crowded, and fans of the teams in the Super Bowl would have to be careful of the food they eat and the water they drink.
While the huge crowds are no doubt an upside, I think this is a possibility worth exploring, preferably down the road. I would prefer to see the NFL schedule more regular-season games there and get feedback from the fans who traveled there to find out what their experience was like.
Wembley Stadium in London, England has been the location of the past five NFL games in the International Series. Crowds have been as large as 84,254 for the games in London, and the game is generally well-received. In the 2011 season. the Chicago Bears met the Tampa Bay Bucs there.
London hosted a team in the NFL Europe league and seems to be one of the best choices if you wanted to see the Super Bowl played in Europe. The weather in late January or early February could be an issue, but that is just one of the many factors that would have to be analyzed.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been championing the movement to have London host the Super Bowl. Just as long as the NFL wouldn't hold the game at White Hart Lane, which was a London stadium used for NFL Europe.
The problem with White Hart Lane was that it's only 93 yards long, not the 120 yards of standard NFL stadiums. Something to be said about a 93-yard long field, as you are usually in good field position.
London appears to be the most popular choice of all European locations, and the fact that the last five NFL regular season games have been played there carries further weight to support that idea.
Frankfurt or Berlin, Germany
Before NFL Europe was closed down for good, the league consisted of just six teams, five of which were from Germany. Clearly, the Germans were able to make the game of football (American game of football) sustainable and the German teams kept the league afloat for as long as it lasted.
Of the various teams that played in Germany, two of the stronger franchises were in Frankfurt and in Berlin. Attendance in games would range from 18,000 - 22,000 fans per game.
Ever since the NFL decided to fold the NFL Europe league in 2007, the NFL has not thrown Germany a bone by playing any regular-season games in that country to date.
Whether that will change down the road is an unknown. It seems curious that the NFL wouldn't try to reward the Germans with something for their loyalty in supporting NFL Europe.
No you are not crazy, that is Pete Sampras, who fancied himself to be a quarterback, and he spent time practicing with a NFL Europe team.
Barcelona, Spain was another of the NFL Europe locations, and would be another interesting choice to host a Super Bowl.
The weather would undoubtedly be better than some of the other choices that are much further north than Barcelona. As for Spain's level of interest in the NFL, that is a different question.
The NFL Europe entry, the Barcelona Dragons, weren't able to sustain a team in the league, and they folded their operations. When they dropped out of the league, that also caused a European network TV deal to collapse as well.
Although it is an interesting option and great location, the Barcelona idea doesn't seem to get much play lately, if at all.
Amsterdam was also a host city for one of the NFL Europe teams for many years. Like Germany, the Netherlands are another country that has not been mentioned very often as a potential host city for the Super Bowl.
The Netherlands cranks out a number of stars in MMA, but that really has nothing to do with the NFL, other than sports fans in the Netherlands who like the physical nature of both sports and carried their interest of one sport over to the other.
For what it is worth, the Amsterdam Admirals played in three World Bowls, winning one of them. That should help their cause, as they have experience hosting the championship game.
Our final entry is Edinburgh, Scotland, just one more NFL Europe location that hasn't seen much love from the NFL ever since the league folded.
Granted, Edinburgh is somewhat off the beaten path of European locations to host a Super Bowl, but there had to be some compelling reason for the city to take on a NFL Europe franchise, right?
This is the final location in our presentation. If you are aware of a better location that wasn't mentioned in the article, please include your potential foreign Super Bowl host city, and why you think it would be a great choice.