LONDON: London is “on track” to have its own permanent American football team within the next six years, NFL spokesman Mark Waller said on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).
“The fan base is big enough and passionate enough that it can support a franchise,” Waller said, in comments published on the BBC website.
“I felt in 2007 it was always a 15-year journey. I think we’re on track to deliver that. I fundamentally believe we will deliver that.”
London’s Wembley Stadium has been staging regular-season NFL games since 2007, with the Jackonsville Jaguars playing one game a season there since 2013.
Each of the games played at Wembley in 2015 attracted crowds of over 80,000. The Jaguars are contracted to continue playing there until 2020.
The Jaguars are owned by Pakistani businessman Shahid Khan, who also owns English second-tier football club Fulham.
Two regular-season NFL matches are due to take place at Wembley in October this year, while Twickenham, home of the England rugby union, will host its first NFL game.
Waller, the NFL’s executive vice-chairman international, added: “We are in a unique position as a sport because of the way our season is structured—we only play one game a week.
“It’s not something other American sports could do.”