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NFL Looks to Spain, France for Expansion

  • The NFL's analysis of fan growth and commercial potential puts France and Spain on its "radar."
  • Brett Gosper, NFL head of the U.K. and Europe, said the Nordic markets would be next.
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Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Spain and France have reached the top of the NFL’s European bucket list.

Following the success of the NFL’s first regular-season game played in Germany this past Sunday, Brett Gosper, NFL head of the U.K. and Europe, told the Associated Press that the league’s analysis of fan growth and commercial potential puts France and Spain on its “radar.”

“We need to do our homework to make sure that there is the possibility of a place to land any games in those markets, gauge interest of the host stadia, gauge interest of the host city, even the government, as to their enthusiasm to help us bring a game,” Gosper said.

Spain may have a better shot at landing games since it already has an NFL presence.

  • The Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins have “home marketing” rights in the country.
  • The Barcelona Dragons were an NFL Europe and WLAF franchise between 1991-2003.
  • France has no teams with marketing rights.

Gosper indicated that the Nordic markets would be next, “Sweden in particular.”

Goodell’s Game Plan

The NFL aims to grow its international business to $1 billion annually.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if its current four-game Germany deal “expanded beyond that at some point soon.” Germany surpassed the U.K. as the NFL’s largest European market despite London hosting regular-season games since 2007.

Goodell has also hinted at a possible European division.

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