There has been growing talk recently of a different kind of football coming to the UK in the form of a hugely growing American league in the NFL. American Football is becoming increasingly more popular over this side of the Atlantic as the national stadium houses three regular season games this year which have all sold out.
The implications of a possible NFL franchise in the UK will be that the England national team may have to play their home games around the country again – just like they did when the new Wembley stadium was being built. St James’ Park, Old Trafford, Etihad Stadium and Villa Park all likely to features games again allowing fans who don’t live in London the opportunity to see the national team in action in their area, although they can always keep up with the action at Blue Square should you live quite a distance away.
One of the biggest criticisms football fans in England have of the national team is that is very southern orientated. What they mean by that is fans of clubs in the north of England feel slightly detached with the permanent home being in London. Unfortunately due to hefty cost of the new stadium, the FA had no other choice than to play all their home games there to try and help pay off the bill as quickly as possible. Thankfully if an NFL franchise was to be set in London that would take over that burden of paying off the debt.
Attendances for England home games have always been good for competitive matches but the recent friendly against Norway proved that you don’t always need an 80,000 seated stadium. In that case, having half the ground empty was rather embarrassing for the FA and resulted in a disappointing atmosphere on the night. Such a game would have been ideal for somewhere like Villa Park where there would not have been an empty seat.