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Old 06-30-2007, 12:38 PM   #1
buckeyefan78
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Default NFL Europa disbands...

NFL folds Europe league, to focus on regular-season games abroad

FRANKFURT, Germany -- The NFL folded its development league in Europe after 16 years on Friday, calling the decision a sound business move that will allow for a stronger international focus on regular-season games outside the United States.

The announcement came less than a week after the Hamburg Sea Devils beat the Frankfurt Galaxy 37-28 in the World Bowl title game in Frankfurt before a crowd of 48,125. Five of the league's six teams are based in Germany, with the other in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

A statement on the German-language edition of the NFL's Web site said the NFL decided to concentrate its "strategies and resources" on regular-season games outside the United States in an effort to reach as many people as possible.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell thanked the fans for their support but said it was time to develop a new international strategy, terming the move to fold NFL Europa the ``best business decision.'' The league reportedly was losing about $30 million a season.

"From now on we will focus on regular-season games and use new technologies to make NFL more popular worldwide," he said.

NFL team owners decided in October to play up to two regular-season games outside the United States. The first such game is Oct. 28 in London between the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants.

The league said it is looking toward other regular-season games in Germany, Mexico and Canada, with Germany a strong candidate for 2008.

"NFL Europa has created thousands of passionate fans who have supported that league and our sport for many years," said Mark Waller, senior vice president of NFL International. "And we look forward to building on this foundation as we begin this new phase of our international development."

The league began in 1991 as the World League of American Football, with 10 teams from the United States and Europe, spreading from Scotland to Spain. After closing for two seasons in 1993 and 1994, the league returned with six European teams and retained the same format until the end.

The league was used by NFL teams to test young talent and produced players such as quarterback Kurt Warner, who led the St. Louis Rams to the 2000 Super Bowl championship and won two NFL Most Valuable Player awards; Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme; and star Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri.

NFL Europa managing director Uwe Bergheim said the league had succeeded in establishing a fan base for football in important European markets.

"Despite the great support of fans, business partners and the cities where we were active, we decided that it was time to change the strategy," Bergheim said.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2920738


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I wonder what this does to the chances of a foreign team competing in the NFL.
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Old 06-30-2007, 02:14 PM   #2
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Old 07-01-2007, 03:35 AM   #3
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The chances of the NFL adding a 17th regular-season game to every team's schedule - and having that game played outside the U.S. - just went up.
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:55 AM   #4
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I don't think we're going to see a NFL team in Canada any time soon. I'm almost positive that there's an agreement between the NFL and CFL that the NFL won't expand into Canada and the CFL won't try expanding into the U.S.- again.

While London has an outstanding new facility with the new Wembley Stadium, I really think that Germany probably has the most potential. Judging by the fact that nearly the entire league was there at the very end, and the only other one was in close-by Amsterdam, shows that that region is receptive to American football and could probably support a real NFL team at some point. I have my doubts whether the game would catch on enough in other parts of the world and Europe to make this an ultimately successful venture. The UK, Germany, and Australia are probably the best bets right now.
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Old 07-08-2007, 03:56 PM   #5
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I'm not a fun of the NFL doing this. Sure they were losing a ton of money, but I think that's because of the fact that five of six teams were in Germany, that narrows the amount of people in the potential fan pools. Also, the NFL Europa was a great developmental league for the NFL. It gave players that might not have been ready to play in the NFL coming out of college a chance to play and get better with the hope of some day making an NFL roster. Other American football leagues in Europe do fairly well without the help of the NFL, so the NFl must have just been doing something wrong over there.
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Old 07-09-2007, 06:04 PM   #6
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They did have teams spread out over Europe. The reason most of the teams ended up in Germany was because they were the only country buying into American football. Nobody was showing up to the games in the other European countries.
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:49 AM   #7
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There are teams in other leagues all over Europe that have pretty decent draws, so the NFL must of been doing something wrong in the marketing department. And before you say anything, one of my old college coaches has been coaching over there for a few years and says it's great. I don't buy that whole nobody else was buying into American football crap.
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:36 PM   #8
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Yeah, I guess that is why the NFL was losing $16 mil a year operating the league.
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doublee View Post
Yeah, I guess that is why the NFL was losing $16 mil a year operating the league.

And presumably won't be losing money on NFL games being held weekly throughout Europe, if indeed that's what it comes to.
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