NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's desire to expand the NFL overseas is certainly no secret.
We got more proof of that on Sunday, as NBC announced, via Sports Illustrated's Peter King, that the NFL is reportedly considering an eight-game package in London:
NFL considering many London options. Reported on #NBCSNF that one option is lg playing 8-game package w/all teams rotating regularly.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) October 27, 2013
It's a London option--not a London certainty.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) October 27, 2013
The NFL's popularity is steadily increasing across the pond. From 2007 through 2012, there was one game per season played at London's famous Wembley Stadium. This year, that was ramped up to two games—the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings played in late September, and the San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars squared off on Sunday in Week 8.
Next year, there will be three games in London.
Every time NFL teams travel to Wembley, it turns out to be a major success. According to Goodell, per ESPN, both games this year sold out extremely quickly and fan support is only growing:
Our fans in the UK have continued to demonstrate that they love football and want more.
Both of this year's games in London sold out quickly. The fan enthusiasm for our sport continues to grow. By playing two games in the UK this year, we are creating more fans. We hope that with three games in London next year we will attract even more people to our game.
As such, expanding the international series makes plenty of sense from a business perspective.
Do you like the idea of an eight-game package in London?
Eight games per season may seem like a lot, but if teams are continually rotated through the schedule and only have to make the long trip around once every two seasons, it's probably manageable.
Moreover, should an eight-game London schedule eventually be implemented with success, it will serve as another important step in Goodell eventually putting a team in London, something he has made abundantly clear he wants.
The logistics of having a team permanently in London would be much more difficult to figure out, but as the NFL continues to grow in popularity overseas, it seems like an inevitability.