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Page last updated at 12:03 GMT, Friday, 24 April 2009 13:03 UK

NFL in talks on London Super Bowl

By Tim Love

Shaun Phillips
Over half a million people applied for tickets for last year's clash at Wembley

The NFL has had "substantive talks" with officials in London about holding the Super Bowl in the city, a senior league official has told BBC Sport.

While commissioner Roger Goodell has previously admitted an interest in bringing the game to London, this is the first confirmation of discussions.

"We've spoken on what it would take to host and for us to bring it over," said events vice-president Frank Supovitz.

"The city has all the facilities needed, and in great quantity."

Supovitz was talking in New York City where the NFL Draft will take place this weekend.

"We have had very substantive conversations with the city of London. We've got to the point of exploring the bid document," he added.

I don't think it's an unrealistic prospect at all

Mark Waller, NFL Head of Sales

Visit London, the capital's official visitor organisation, confirmed that it was pursuing a long-term ambition to bring the Super Bowl to the city.

"Ever since the NFL began playing games in London we have been in discussions with the NFL about what is involved in staging Super Bowl from the host city perspective," said commercial director David Hornby.

"It continues to be something we discuss on a regular basis, without there being any specific timetable or plan in place."

The venues for the next three Super Bowls have already been decided with Dolphin Stadium in Florida, Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas and the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indiana putting together successful bids.

But London has become the focal point for the NFL's desire to expand the sport globally, and bringing the sport's showpiece event to the city appears to be a real possibility.

Mark Waller, NFL Head of Sales and Marketing, said: "The NFL is a global property, has a global audience, and London is an incredible city from a sports fan's perspective. I don't think it's an unrealistic prospect at all."


There is certainly good reason for the NFL to believe that a Super Bowl in London would create sufficient interest for the game to be a success.

In October 2007, the NFL staged its first regular season game outside of the Americas, with over 80,000 fans at Wembley watching the New York Giants defeat the Miami Dolphins.

Last year, 83,000 supporters turned out to watch the New Orleans Saints beat the San Diego Chargers.

Visit London estimate that the match brought about £20m to the city with 7,000 team employees, sponsors and their guests crossing the Atlantic.

Tickets for this year's game in October between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots sold out more quickly than for the previous two contests.

However, if London is to host one of the biggest sporting events in the world, it will not be for quite some time.

"It won't happen in the next three or four years because we know where the Super Bowls will be, but these are exciting opportunities for us," Supovitz said.

Additional reporting by Mike Henson

see also
What's the NFL draft all about?
23 Apr 09 |  American Football
Patriots set for Wembley fixture
01 Dec 08 |  American Football
London 'could have own NFL team'
27 Oct 08 |  American Football
Saints pip San Diego at Wembley
26 Oct 08 |  American Football
Why you should watch the NFL in London
24 Oct 08 |  American Football
NFL considers Murrayfield fixture
26 Oct 08 |  American Football
Giants beat Miami at wet Wembley
28 Oct 07 |  American Football
UK mission for NFL
29 Oct 07 |  American Football
UK venues in line for NFL first
03 Nov 06 |  American Football
NFL fixtures
05 Jan 08 |  American Football
NFL results
26 Oct 07 |  American Football
NFL standings
26 Oct 07 |  American Football
NFL in a nutshell
19 Oct 05 |  American Football
American Football on the BBC
05 Feb 08 |  American Football

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