Wembley sell-out boosts NFL hopes

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Published: Monday 10th November 2014 by The News Editor

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The American football league could be a step closer to bringing a team to London following the end of a run of sold-out games at Wembley Arena this year.

Mark Waller, the vice president of the international NFL, said he and the NFL commissioner were getting “a lot of good support” from the Government as they left an early morning meeting with George Osborne today.

The Chancellor has previously said the Government “will do anything” to secure a Gridiron team in London on a long-term basis.

Last night was the third and final game to be played in front of a total 250,000-strong crowd in London this season, bringing in estimated revenues of £3 million per game.

Mr Waller said about today’s meeting: “We were talking about the progress we have made in the UK, the growing fan base we’ve got and the increasing interest – both our interest in playing here and the fans’ interest. It seems to be mutual.

“We were talking through our growth plan and what we would like to see.

“The Government is interested and asking if there’s anything they can do.

“We’ve had great meetings with the Chancellor and with Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid. We’ve got a sense of a lot of good support. We’re very happy with the relationship we’re building.

“I think it’s great for London. London is building itself as a world centre of sport and we want to be part of that.”

If the Football Association secures an NFL franchise, England football matches could be taken around the country again from 2018.

The FA has made winning an American football franchise to be based at Wembley a priority and it is understood that would open the way to holding a few England games away from the national stadium.

George Osborne told the Standard: “We had a really positive meeting. The NFL had a great experience here and I want to build on that.

“Ultimately I’d like to see an NFL team based here and I told the NFL we will do everything we can to make that happen.”

Published: Monday 10th November 2014 by The News Editor

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