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Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger Not Sure London Will Ever Have A Franchise


Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger appears to have enjoyed his quick trip over to London, England this past week to promote the 2013 regular season game against the Minnesota Vikings, but he told Sky Sports News on Tuesday that he believes the possibility of London ever having an NFL franchise may prove too much of a logistical challenge to work.

“I think it would be really difficult because obviously, the flight,” said Roethlisberger. “You\’d have to fly half the time; you would have to go over there, and teams would have to come over here. But I think even more than logistically, your family is back in the states. You have to come here. If you get released from a team, you have to fly all the way back. To deal with the family part of it would be really hard, so I don\’t know if it could logistically work.”

While London has hosted regular season games for a few years now, the players as a collective unit seem pretty against the idea of the NFL ever having a team in the English capital. Cincinnati Bengals team representative Andrew Whitworth made it clear last month what he would do if he ever landed on an NFL team that moved to London.

“I would hope that I was financially able to quit,” the tackle told Cincinnati.com. “That\’s what I would hope, because if I was, my papers would be the first one in.”

While it appears almost certain that London will never get an NFL franchise, Roethlisberger has no problem with the league playing a couple of regular season games on the other side of the pond every year as he feels it is very positive both for both the fans and the players.

“I think it’s neat for the players to be able to travel abroad if they\’ve never left the country to come over here and to see a different country and a different lifestyle and see fans from over here,” he said.

The game between the Steelers and the Vikings will take place on September 29 at Wembley Stadium.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • TJimmy

    I really hope the NFL will keep it the NATIONAL football league. Having a team in London just takes away from the Americanism that this sport really is.

  • Dom

    What so people in other countries aren’t allowed to enjoy the sport? I live in Ireland and it gives me a great opportunity to see the Steelers play for only the second time in my life, the other being a pre-season game in Heinz field.
    I don’t see the problem with having 1 team based in another country whether it is England or somewhere like Germany. After all it is a shorter distance to travel for some teams on the East Coast.

  • Dom

    I personally as someone not in the US would love for a team to be located in Europe but the main problem would be attendance,
    Yes there is enough NFL fans in the U.K for a team BUT you don’t support a team just because it moves near to you. If the Jaguars moved to London then I wouldn’t support them – I would still be Steelers through and through. I think this would stand for nearly all people who are currently NFL fans so they would need to make sure they enticed enough young + new fans to the games to fill out Wembley or wherever they play.

  • steves

    Mr Rooney wanted to bring a game to Ireland but,, you know how that goes? Ben looked like he enjoyed the trip. I’ll bet he would enjoy it if his kiddo and wife were there. Steelers will do well against The Viks although they have the best running back in the league.

  • TJimmy

    I’m all for other countries enjoying the sport and don’t mind games being played in other countries like we have this year. But I don’t like the league going international. If they expand to one international city, others will undoubtedly follow. Where would it end? Zimbabwe?

  • Dom

    It would end pretty damn quickly, at the minute there are two other countries who could hold an NFL team – Germany and England, Therefore realistically leaving about three cities. They are not going to place more than one team in the same country as they will probably want the them to have a national identity. And for now they will not have more than one team max outside of the U.S for the next 50 years.

    Why not move a team like the Jaguars with virtually no fans and two other teams in the same state. To somewhere with lots of football fans who may never get a chance to see a game in person otherwise.

  • Jackie Gerring

    Wife was their…baby at home getting spoiled by grandparents…

  • Jazz

    Innovative? Sometimes people can simply outthink themselves, that = Roger Goodell and the some of the NFL Owners. This sport belongs in the U.S, I agree with Big Ben, logistically, it would be a nightmare.

  • Matt Searls

    You can enjoy the sport that’s not what he is saying. But this is the national football league, not the global one. There’s a cfl, and European leagues too.

  • Guest

    Cheerios, the official breakfast cereal of London Jagoo-ars ;)

    Seriously though I love a global fanbase but if London gets a team that probably means less Steeler fans in the UK…and I am trying to picture the American reaction to a British or German team winning the Super Bowl…

  • TJimmy

    Cheerios, the official breakfast cereal of the London Jagoo-ars ;)

    Seriously though I love a global fanbase but if London gets a team that probably means less Steeler fans in the UK

    And I am trying to picture the American reaction to a British or German team winning the Superbowl………

  • Jason White

    I’m not for anything that takes revenue or possibly jobs from America. This is the NFL not the WWFL (World Wide Football League). Let them have their soccer.

  • Ahmad

    Playing games over in London is fine, but as Ben said, having a franchise over there would be a nightmare. Also, I wonder if the league is thinking about having games played in other countries as well.

  • Pete

    Wow! Some of the comments on here are funny. NBA and MLB have teams in Canada. What was the American reaction when the Blue Jays won the pennant 2 years in a row? None of the players were Canadian. So what? The franchises give Canadians a chance to see NBA and MLB games without having to travel. Taking jobs away from Americans? Really? The teams are composed of Americans + players from the Latin countries so fond of baseball.

    I agree with Ben that it would be difficult from a logistical point of view for teams to be based in Europe. So it will probably never happen. Also, as alluded to by Whitworth, American based players would never wish to play for a team based in Europe. And we haven’t even mentioned the tax issue.

  • Jason White

    I wasn’t talking about the players. I was talking about the workers at the stadium who would lose their jobs or the millions of dollars that go to the team’s current city suddenly disappearing.

  • steves

    Well no wonder why Ben had such a BIG smile on his face!

  • steves

    Houston lost the Oilers, Cleveland lost the Ravens/Browns, I could go on and on, happens all the time. Both city’s got new franchises, but they were without for some time. Same with baseball, Montreal lost the Expos.

  • ATL96STEELER

    Based there? I don’t think it will work…logistics aside, it would be okay for a while until the novelty wears off…then if the team is not successful I could see fan support waning pretty quickly…much like the NHL in ATL.

  • ATL96STEELER

    Canada is not exactly the same as Europe or the UK. NBA, Vancover failed, and the Raptors are essentially failures also. Plus the sports are not remotely similar in terms of road logistics…NBA and MLB play tons of games so travel can be worked out much easier…1 or 2 games a yr overseas is fine, but a UK based team will fail.

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