London NFL franchise worth “more than £100m” to UK economy
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London NFL franchise worth “more than £100m” to UK economy

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A London-based National Football League (NFL) team would be worth more than £100m a year to the UK, according to a study carried out by Deloitte.

The figure is based on a London team playing eight regular season home games at Wembley per season.

It takes into account that the operational set up of the franchise – players, staff and auxiliary personnel – would visit the UK four times a year to play two home games on each visit, rather than being permanently based in the UK.

Spectator spending would comprise around 67 per cent of the £100m, with more than 600,000 fans expected to attend the eight regular season games.

The report states: “The potential direct impact to London of hosting an NFL franchise is estimated to be £102m. Spectator spending of almost £70m would largely drive this, along with an estimated spend in the host economy by the home franchise of more than £20m.”

Commissioned by the NFL, the report also shows that the two International Series fixtures played at Wembley in 2013 contributed £32m to the London economy. It forecasts that expanding the Wembley series to four matches in future could generate a total of £58m.

The report is the latest sign that a London-based NFL franchise is closer to reality than previously believed.

Earlier this month, chancellor Osbourne held high-level talks with NFL officials and said that the government would do "anything it can" to help create a UK-based team.

American football has increased its popularity in the UK in recent years - driven by Sky Sports’ TV coverage and the annual regular season games held at Wembley stadium in London.

One of the teams to have played twice at Wembley since 2007 – the Jacksonville Jaguars – is owned by Shahid Khan, who also owns London-based English Championship club Fulham Football Club.

It has been suggested that the Jaguars would be the most likely franchise to uproot and relocate across the Atlantic if the NFL decides against setting up an entirely new team to enter the league. There are currently 32 teams in the NFL, divided into eight divisions of four.

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A London-based National Football League (NFL) team could be worth more than £100m a year to the UK, according to a study carried out by Deloitte.
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