The NFL franchise looks set to make a splash across the pond with the hope of securing a deal that would see more NFL games being played in London, this time at the infamous Olympic Stadium.
Mayor Boris Johnson has been in talks with officials of the US franchise, with the hope of staging American Football games at the Olympic Stadium.
A decision is expected to be made by December, with three other tenants keen on using the Olympic Stadium for other sporting events.
However, if the deal does go ahead, Londoners can expect to wait until 2017 for the first game to be played at the new stadium.
“The talks were exploratory, we are at an early stage, but the signs are encouraging,” said an NFL spokesman.
The stadium, due to reopen in 2014, has attracted bids from the likes of West Ham, Leyton Orient, Intelligent Transport Services in association with Formula One, and UCFB College of Football Business.
The idea to bring more NFL games to London came about following a successful few years in which Wembley Stadium has opened its gates to fans from across the pond, with the hope of increasing the game’s popularity within the UK.
“We continue to have a number of conversations with the mayor’s office over a number of issues relating to our presence in the UK as we have done over the last five years,” said David Tossell, director of public affairs for NFL International.
And, so far, the levels of popularity has increased ten-fold since the NFL first played a competitive game at Wembley in 2010, with the latest game between the New England Patriots and St Louis Rams attracting over 80,000 supporters.
“Sunday’s game at Wembley, in front of over 80,000 fans, further cements London’s reputation as the natural home of American Football outside of the United States,” said a spokesman for Boris Johnson.
“Only last week the mayor in conjunction with the NFL, announced an expansion from one to two regular season matches in London from 2013. That means in total an additional £44m in revenue for the capital from next year.
“Given the ever-growing popularity of gridiron on this side of the Atlantic, the mayor and his team have held a number of meetings with senior executives in the last few days to explore further opportunities involving the NFL and London.”
The capital is set to welcome two more NFL matches in 2013, with the Minnesota Vikings taking on the Pittsburg Stealers, followed by the Jacksonville Jaguars playing the San Francisco 49ers later in the year.
By Chris Smith