ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is interested in adding a second regular-season game in London and says the move will be discussed at the owners meetings this week.
“It’s been tremendously successful,” Goodell said before the Buffalo Bills‘ game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. “Fan reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, and we want to build on that.”
The commissioner said the league was happy with the game it played in Mexico City in 2005 _ the first regular-season game outside the United States _ but noted the NFL is focusing on adding a regular-season game in England.
The league played its first regular-season game in London in 2007 when the New York Giants defeated the Miami Dolphins 13-10. Since then, there have been three other annual games played at Wembley Stadium, and on Oct. 23 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take on the Chicago Bears in the English capital.
Goodell said that game is still not sold out, but attributed it to tickets not going on sale until after the lockout ended.
The commissioner touched on several other topics during a 35-minute question-and-answer session with about 100 Bills season-ticket holders in a large suite overlooking the field.
“He really was a legend of the game,” Goodell said. “There’s not many people who had the kind of impact on the game. He was a commissioner, he was an owner, he was a coach, he was a general manager, and he was passionate about the game of football. He loved the NFL as much as anybody I know.”
“I really think right now our focus would be on making what we’ve done here with the Bills playing the one game _ and the preseason game every other year _ into Toronto successful,” he said. “The more we work on that and focus on that makes it even better for this market and for Toronto, because for us it’s all one region in many ways.”
Goodell also reiterated his confidence, and provided the biggest assurance so far, that the Bills will stay in Buffalo. Bills owner Ralph Wilson has said that he will not sell the team as long as he is still living.
“I hope Mr. Wilson’s going to be around owning this team for a long time,” Goodell said. “I spoke to him on Friday. … Talk about a guy who loves the game of football, loves this community and loves the Bills. He has what he thinks are the right steps for the team. We will obviously work with him and work with the team to fulfill his wishes. I know he will do, and we are confident that we will do, what’s in the best interest of this community and the NFL in general. I think that’s being taken care of.”
“It’s a great stadium to watch the game,” he said. “The Bills, the state and the county have done a great job in continuing to make improvements in the stadium to keep it competitive. But you have to continue to do that.”
AP freelancer Bob Matuszak contributed to this story.
By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Video reviews of today's hottest trends in Minecraft (servers and mods) along with a look at the latest video games with your host MCairsoft14 (alias Jerad Zad).
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention