For years now, the NFL has dreamed of putting a team in London permanently. Owners oppose the idea because, well, it’s super dumb, but moving a team to London may be the key to the league’s attendance woes.
A quick look back at the history of the NFL’s International Series (which has featured 17 London games and 1 game in Mexico coming into 2017) reveals that the international games have averaged more than 80,000 fans per game. Only the Dallas Cowboys average more than 79,000 fans.
Wembley Stadium, which has hosted 16 of the games, can pack in 86,000 for American Football. The only time the NFL failed to draw more than 81,000 at Wembley was when the 8-8 Chicago Bears played the 6-10 Miami Dolphins. Don’t blame the football though – the Goo Goo Dolls preformed the pregame show that day so blame the decade-plus layoff between the release of the City of Angels soundtrack and that booking.
This year any two of the four London games will likely total more fans than all 8 Los Angeles Chargers home games. Despite what the “official attendance” might say. You’ll never catch a glimpse of a mostly-empty Wembley or Twickenham in 2017. This is where the Chargers should move. 83,226 people showed up to watch the Chargers play in 2008. The lightning bolt logo even works well with the country’s beloved Harry Potter.
What makes the incredible London attendance more impressive is that the kick-offs are at 9:30am. Most football fans are just getting out of bed at that hour. That’s dedication. It’s time for the NFL to reward those fans. The people of California clearly don’t deserve it.