Football, known as American football outside of North America, is gaining ground internationally. The NFL has increased its international outreach efforts, seeking to bring America's beloved sport to the international community.
Football is hands down the most popular sport in the US, with almost 40% of Americans saying it's their favorite sport compared to 7% naming soccer as their favorite sport. That's not all; two-thirds of Americans watched Super Bowl LVI on February 14, 2021.
The Super Bowl is consistently the biggest sporting event in the US and has become an unofficial holiday for many Americans. While other competitions like the World Cup have always been international events, the Super Bowl has always been uniquely American. However, Tottenham Hotspur has recently emerged as a potential site for the big game. Keep reading to learn about the potential for London to host America's biggest sporting event.
NFL's Potential European Expansion
The NFL has had its sights set on Europe for several years, hoping to increase the presence and popularity of American football beyond US borders. London has been repeatedly mentioned as the site of a potential franchise. When the league has hosted games in the city, it has experienced a massive turnout. The NFL's international expansion is just beginning, with the league's games getting increasing airtime on TV stations in local overseas markets and streaming platforms.
As the league's popularity has increased, so has the interest in sports betting on NFL games among international fans. The analysts at Betway sportsbook have listed the Buffalo Bills as favorites to win next year's Super Bowl, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers not far behind. If the NFL adds a franchise in London, it'll add to the game's excitement for international fans. It would also give Britons a hometown team to cheer for on their own soil.
Spurs Launch Super Bowl Bid
Premier League Club Tottenham Hotspur has reportedly launched an ambitious bid to host the Super Bowl at their stadium in 2026. The stadium is certainly large enough to host the Super Bowl. With a seating capacity of 62,850, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is the third-largest football stadium in the UK. Only Wembley Stadium with a capacity of 90,000 and Old Trafford with a capacity of 75,635 are bigger.
An overseas Super Bowl would be a first in the history of the NFL. Nobody's sure how Americans would react to having the year's biggest sporting event moved across the pond. Whatever the case may be, Tottenham Hotspur is moving forward with its plan and hoping to host the big game and all of the related activities. The stadium, designed with soccer and American football in mind, cost $1.6 billion to build, and the NFL was a financial partner, making it an ideal location for the first Super Bowl hosted outside of the US.
Football analysts agree that Tottenham Hotspur Stadium would be the most likely home of a future London-based NFL franchise. The stadium has already hosted several NFL games. The stadium's design, which includes a retractable playing surface with a football field and separate NFL facilities, makes it a logical destination to host the Super Bowl.
The stadium has hosted four NFL games since it opened on April 3, 2019, and it has an agreement with the NFL to host multiple NFL games in the future. However, hosting a game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Miami Dolphins isn't the same as hosting Super Bowl LX.
After all, several European cities have hosted NFL games over the past few years. The NFL has recently shined the spotlight on Germany, and the Seattle Seahawks will play the Buccaneers in Munich on November 13, 2022, marking the first regular-season game in Germany.
Still, London remains the frontrunner for the first Super Bowl outside of America. The NFL is also considering Sydney's Stadium Australia as a candidate. We'll have to wait a bit longer to find out if the Super Bowl finally moves overseas.