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NFL news: Super Bowl hosting gets surprise suitor after city mayor’s truthful admission

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Becoming NFL Super Bowl host is a monumental boon for its host city, particularly from the revenue streams it generates beyond the gate receipts that impact the local community. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan once again broached this idea of making the English capital the first Super Bowl host city outside of the US, with no less than NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell supporting the possible move.

London has hosted at least one NFL regular season game since 2007, but the Super Bowl has never been held outside US soil in any of its 54 games since 1957. Khan, in an article by The Athletic, outlined bigger plans for England’s capital to become the prime destination for American sports fans in Europe.

“The Super Bowl is really important for us. We have a number of American football games and I want it to come here because we want American sports fans in Europe to come to London to watch them, not just go to America,” Khan said.

London seeking to become ‘sporting capital of the world’

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The comments came ahead of the UEFA Champions League final this weekend between Spain’s Real Madrid and Germany’s Borrusia Dortmund. While the Champions League match is one of the largest to attract fans from both sides, Mayor Sadiq Khan seeks to bring in more events to solidify London’s place as the “sporting capital of the world” by attracting more world-class events

London, which hosted the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, is seeking to add the likes of the Super Bowl and WWE’s WrestleMania as major attractions taking place in the city. This summer, the city plays host to Diamond League athletics, Olympic warm-up competitions, and the Wimbledon tennis championships, among others.

Super Bowl poses unique logistical challenge for hosts, US viewers

In October 2023, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell opened the possibility of a Super Bowl London game during the last matchup there between the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans.

“I think that is not out of the question. But at the end of the day, I think right now our formula will stay the same about playing [Super Bowls] in cities that have franchises,” Goodell said at the time.

A major issue that may hurt a London Super Bowl bid would be the logistics. One is the time difference. London time is five hours ahead of New York and the Eastern time zone and eight hours ahead of the Pacific time zone. It is unknown if fans are willing to watch the game at a different time than the traditional start, and the potential impacts on marketing and other related activities surrounding the game.

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