NFL SuperBowl coming to London?

Chris Forrester

The BBC is reporting that “substantive talks” have been held with top NFL officials about the all-important SuperBowl coming to London. "We've spoken on what it would take to host and for us to bring it over," the BBC quotes events VP Frank Supovitz, speaking in New York City ahead of this past weekend’s NFL Draft selection process. "The city has all the facilities needed, and in great quantity."

"Ever since the NFL began playing [friendly exhibition] games in London we have been in discussions with the NFL about what is involved in staging Super Bowl from the host city perspective," the BBC quoted commercial director David Hornby, from tourism organisation Visit London. 80,000 fans saw the New York Giants play the Miami Dolphins in a 2007 special game.

One option might be to hold the event at London’s new 80,000 seat Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games. However, should the plan succeed, London will have to come to terms with a very late night given the demands of US broadcasters. The SuperBowl is played out to a US audience of some 100m during a February Sunday evening, meaning a post-midnight starting time for Londoners.

While the Olympics is a summer event, London in February is not famous for its blistering sunshine or warm evenings. Instead, should this event get the ‘thumbs up’ then players, sponsors and attendees had better prepare themselves for snow (usually the ‘wrong sort’ and sufficient to bring public transport to a halt), at best plenty of rain, and chilly temperatures. And the Olympic Stadium has no roof!

One other fact is likely to halt any SuperBowl visitor planning to attend a London final. There are no food or drink concessions inside the new stadium. Instead the authorities are planning for ‘refreshment pods’ to be available (for the Games) in the open air immediately surrounding the stadium. Again, fine for a mid-summer event, but less appealing in mid-winter.