No London Super Bowl; Goodell wants LA team
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the NFL’s overseas success doesn’t mean the Super Bowl is crossing the Atlantic or that the league is going back to continental Europe. Goodell said the expansion from two to three NFL regular-season games starting next season has the league exploring how to continue growing its International Series brand. More games could come to London, which will need a franchise before it can even dream of hosting the Super Bowl. And that is some time away.
“We don’t have a timetable for (a London franchise). We want to continue building interest, and if it continues to go well we believe a franchise could be here,’’ he said in London, where San Francisco and Jacksonville play Sunday. “The Super Bowl won’t be played anywhere where we don’t have a franchise.’’
He also said he’d like to have a team in Los Angeles.
“I’d love to be back in Los Angeles,” Goodell said. “But it has to be done the right way, we have to do it successfully. ... I want both (London and L.A.), but it doesn’t matter which one is first.”
The NFL created a European league in the 1990s that had teams based in the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain, before it folded in 2007.
“Right now, our focus is on the U.K. since the European fans can get here. We want to build on our success here, and whether it leads to a permanent franchise or not, then we can see. What happens here will dictate that.”
Goodell said demand from NFL teams to play in London was more than it could handle, and that a game could be held in Sunday prime-time hours next year. Monday and Thursday night games in London have been ruled out, as has holding preseason games or the Pro Bowl overseas.
Elsewhere • The Washington Redskins have ruled out safety Reed Doughty for Sunday’s game against the Broncos because of lingering effects of a concussion. His absence leaves the Redskins without both starting safeties as they face Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Brandon Meriweather was suspended one game by NFL for helmet-to-helmet hits against the Bears.
• The Cowboys released guard David Arkin, who never played in a game after getting drafted in the fourth round two years ago. Jeff Heath, a rookie free agent, will start Sunday at Detroit in the place of Wilcox, who injured his knee in practice Thursday.
From news services