The 8 A.M. Lecture – A London Super Bowl

UK Super Bowl?

I love Shad Khan. If you aren’’t familiar with the best mustache in sports, Khan is the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Pakistani-American billionaire and business tycoon also owns Fulham F.C., a team in England’s FLC. Khan has long been associated with the “American Dream”, formerly working for the company he eventually bought, Flex-N-Gate. He then supplied small bumpers for Toyota vehicles directly, turning a small car parts company into an estimated $2 billion company in 2010. Khan’s newest venture? Purchasing Wembley Stadium.

If you arena’t aware Wembley Stadium, located in London, England, is the premiere sporting venue in the U.K. Wembley hosts the England National Soccer team, as well as the FA Cup. The highest record attendance in Wembley was 89,874 for a soccer match and 98,000 for a Green Day concert. For perspective, AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, seats 100,00 people.

As much as I really do just enjoy Shad Khan’s story and love his ventures outside of the NFL, if you think this purchase means the Super Bowl will move to London you are sadly mistaken. Khan has come out and said that Wembley is one of the premiere sports venues on the planet and he could see the Super Bowl there. This idea is not only ridiculous, it wouldn’t’t fly over well with NFL officials for a few reasons.

For my English friends, this is not a knock against fans of Football in the U.K. Actually, the NFL games in England have done rather well. Last season the Minnesota Vikings and the Cleveland Browns played in London at the Twickenham Stadium with an attendance of 74,237. That is fairly comparable to a fully packed NFL stadium. The NFL International series has done extremely well on a consistent basis and works wonders for making the NFL an international sport.

The main issue with someone as huge at the Super Bowl being in another country is simple…would the F.A. Cup final ever be on United States soil? Easy answer, no. Would they every put a Community Shield game in Pittsburgh? Hell no. I would love to see an actual well fought match here in Pittsburgh instead of a teams B roster up against another teams C roster, but until we can see some form of actual competition on U.S. soil from another sport, the Super Bowl will stay in the states.

There could be an argument made that the attendance wouldn’t’t be near what the NFL has seem in London and although fair, if we don’t gain something more than a London team from a Wembley Bowl, why do it. The simple fact of air time and commercial payments alone will keep the SB in a U.S. timezone for…well..ever.

Am I against an NFL expansion to London? Absolutely not. A trip from Philly to London is shorter than from Philly to L.A. There has to be a sanction around the scheduling and time management, but it can be done. As for a Super Bowl in London? Not until we have an underwater subway system to England, which according to Musk should be ready at any moment….psych.

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