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 Post subject: NFL Europe
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2003 5:13 am 
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The NFL Europe suxs bad. Why keep it? Thas why we need the USFL back.

By Les Pasquerelli
ESPN.com

In a vote that was closer than many had anticipated, and which reflected some strong sentiment against continuing an experiment of mixed results, owners decided Wednesday during a half-day meeting in Washington, D.C., to continue the NFL Europe league.

The vote, however, could not have been any closer and one more owner opposed to the matter would have killed off the springtime league.

On most key issues, like NFL Europe, a three-quarters vote of the league membership, or 24 of 32 votes, is required for endorsement. The NFL owners voted precisely 24-8 to continue NFL Europe for two more seasons. The league has been championed for years by commissioner Paul Tagliabue and sources told ESPN.com on Wednesday night that he had to be persuasive to retain the developmental league.

"We want to keep looking at it," said Pittsburgh owner Dan Rooney. "We feel that there is still potential there on which we can build."

The membership will be asked to decide next year, entering the final season under the new business plan for NFL Europe, to extend it through 2013. There are some owners who still contend that the league, founded in 1991, can realize a profit.

But other owners remain concerned about continuing financial losses, and diminished returns in terms of player development, and told ESPN.com they question the wisdom of continuing to subsidize NFL Europe.

In another matter the owners voted, as anticipated, to award Super Bowl XLI, in 2007, to Miami. It will mark the ninth time the city will have hosted the championship game.

Support for again resuscitating NFL Europe appeared mixed when ESPN.com surveyed several owners the past few weeks. And the Wednesday vote certainly reflected that. The vote next year, on endorsing the league through 2013, could be rather contentious. There is little doubt Tagliabue and NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw, who is in favor of NFL Europe, must buttress support in the coming year.

Said one opponent: "I'm just not convinced of the long-term (viability). The proponents keep telling me I'm short-sighted. Well, my vision is plenty good enough for me to see us throwing good money after something that's had 12 years to work, and hasn't."

With the NFL's three-year business plan for NFL Europe having expired, league owners recently received a memorandum detailing the benefits of overseas play, and the positives of continuing the experiment to globalize American-style football.

Some owners have become weary of investing in a product perceived as stagnant, and which has not created much ripple effect, in their minds. But the proponents of keeping NFL Europe still view as essential the potential for marketing opportunities, and at a time when there are few new revenue streams, along with expanding the NFL's scope as a true entertainment entity.

One stance that likely will not sell, at least with more pragmatic owners, is the contention that the investment in Europe might eventually produce some NFL players. In the recent memo, NFL officials pointed out that other American professional leagues have tapped into foreign-bred talent, and suggested the NFL might someday do likewise.

Countered one NFC personnel chief: "The logic there is totally skewed. Baseball, the NBA, hockey, they draw foreign players because those sports are played in a lot of other countries. But, hey, no one else plays football but us. Other countries are developing the players for those other sports. Us, we're sending players to other countries, hoping they will develop. But we could do the same thing with a springtime schedule played here."

Certainly development of high-profile players, like St. Louis quarterback Kurt Warner, has slowed. There were 257 former NFL Europe players on NFL rosters in 2002, and the number is probably similar this season, but the spring league hasn't produced as many visible stars recently as it did 3-5 years ago.

A few other owners noted the security risks involved in sending American players to Europe, but there were no reported incidents in 2002, and NFL officials feel the threat is not a particularly strong one.

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 Post subject: NFL Europe
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 4:11 pm 
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Hmmmm, was there a continuation vote this year?

All I know is that the Barcelona Dragons relocated to Cologne before kickoff in 2004, and Scotland is now Hamburg. NFL Europe is an Amsterdam relocation away from becoming NFL Germany.

Among Western European countries, Germany is about the only "large" nation that doesn't take to rugby. The other noted rugby countries (except Italy, I think) have all had NFL Europe, and have all chased the NFL away eventually. Germany is reputed to get a good chunk of the fan base from American military bases located around Germany, and the U.S. has committed to moving them out.

There's a larger problem for the NFL. They can sell some merchandise in Europe, but residents don't appear to be taking to the game. Not being able to internationalize may lead to problems down the road in comparison to other sports.


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 Post subject: NFL Europe
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 7:57 pm 
How come they don't expand to 7 or 8 teams? There always seems to have 6 teams since they got out of north america?


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 Post subject: NFL Europe
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 9:40 am 
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They want to.

They can't.

They can't sell tickets outside Germany... mostly because there's a large American military presence inside Germany.

The real question is whether the NFL is going to stop funding them. That vote comes up soon, and signs don't look positive for NFLE fans.


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 Post subject: NFL Europe
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 6:18 pm 
Why can't they putt a team in Brussels, Belgium or Vienna, Austria?


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 Post subject: NFL Europe
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:21 am 
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Every market you list leads to the same answer.

Nobody in those markets wants to own a gridball team (I'll use gridball and soccer to reduce confusion for purposes of this discussion). Unless a market is near a substantial American military presence, the history is that the club fails to stay in business. Why start something when you have a negative view of the outcome?

Soccer teams usually own their own stadia. Some don't want gridball messing up their turf. Others want LARGE rent payments.

The math just doesn't add up. Pretty soon, though, there won't be any math to worry about with this issue.


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 Post subject: NFL Europe
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:52 pm 
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Agreed. It was a nice novelty, and I think the London Monarchs had an aces symbol :D! Otherwise it's time to put the dying beast to rest.


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