They’ll follow you anywhere.

Neutral site games — they’re not just for college football anymore!

The NFL has also talked internally about playing games in other cities in the U.S. which do not have pro teams, with some buzz about playing a game at Notre Dame or Alabama, as well as Hawaii and cities in Canada. It is viewed as a unique and profound way to grow the game globally and extend the reach of sales, merchandising and broadcast rights around the globe, with there only so much more room for growth within America.

Well, if I’m an NFL player with a choice of a game in Hawaii or Tuscaloosa, I know where I’d prefer to go.

Honestly, I can’t really imagine ‘Bama fans are going to be as taken with the Dolphins coming to town as they are with Nick’s team.  Can you?

(h/t)

35 Comments

Filed under The NFL Is Your Friend.

35 responses to “They’ll follow you anywhere.

  1. Bigshot

    Alabama already has a pro team. Roll Tide!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knew I could count on somebody to swing at that fastball I threw down the middle. 😉

      Like

      • Mayor

        Forgetting about the novelty of this idea and all, why would the NFL want to do it financially? The NFL and/or its teams own spectacular stadiums all over the country. To hold a game in another city requires locating a suitable stadium (not easy) and incurring additional rent costs and additional expenses. UGA and FU do the WLOCP because the City of Jacksonville pays a boatload of dough to host it. Is Orlando going to pay money to host such a game? Or Birmingham? Or San Antone? I understand about the NFLPA and all that but the whole idea is to make money and if the dollars aren’t right……

        Like

        • Tony Barnfart

          It would be a worthwhile undertaking for the Titans to play in Memphis every once in a while. The stadium is fine but the townsfolk have fickle or split NFL loyalties but loves football in general.

          Like

          • Tony Barnfart

            IOW, it’s a sizeable market in your home state that you could easily do a better job of owning instead of having the Saints or whoever else pick them off.

            Like

        • Morris Day

          To expand the regular season schedule to 17 games.

          Like

    • Mayor

      If players getting paid to play qualifies as a pro team, Auburn is a pro team too.

      Like

  2. PTC DAWG

    Mainly to make the 17 schedule not have 9 home/8 away games or vice versa…trying to sell it to the NFLPA.

    Honestly, some schools could probably use the rent…

    Like

    • Union Jack

      Yep – trying to even up the unbalanced home and away schedule if they can get approval on a 17 game schedule.

      The hard sell will be on the NFLPA. They scrapped the Pro Bowl because the players didn’t want to travel all the way to Hawaii and play a game on a field that didn’t meet the NFL standard. The Mexico City game last year was scrapped due to field conditions.

      I think some coaches and players tolerate the games in London but where else in the world can they schedule a game without creating all sorts of scheduling issues? Anything in Asia/Oceania would be a nightmare unless it happened at the very beginning of the season. European soccer clubs complain about Champions & Europa League games anywhere East of Berlin – what would NFL players do for one off game?

      How does a neutral site game played in the US help? They already have teams in the 27 of the top 50 Nielsen Markets. The largest DMA w/o a team is Orlando and they already have 3 teams in that state. Next is Sacramento at 20 (2 teams in NoCal right now) and St. Louis at 21 which just saw their team leave a few seasons ago.

      Does putting neutral site games in Birmingham, Portland, Salt Lake, Albuquerque really help the NFL?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What an idiotic idea.

    Reminds me of watching an NFL “exhibition game” in Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1990s.

    Yes, that really happened.

    And even as a young teen I can remember the feeling that everyone (“fans” and players, coaches, EVERYBODY) was thinking, “What on earth am I doing here?”

    I think it was the Eagles and Jets.

    IN MISSISSIPPI.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Greg

    Would think that they would go to Birmingham rather than Tuscaloosa. Last I remember, the USFL has a team there, the Birmingham Stallions. If my memory serves me correct, they were one of the few that did well with attendance.

    Nonetheless, point taken….rather be in Hawaii also.

    Like

    • Doug

      Problem is Legion Field is on its last legs. It was a rusting hulk when I worked at UAB more than a decade ago and they haven’t done much to improve it since. Bryant-Denny is a bit off the beaten path, but it’s got way more amenities and holds more people.

      Like

      • Greg

        Yeah, forgot about that. I haven’t been to Birmingham in 20 years. It should have been condemned back then. Can’t imagine what it is like now….would be surprised if it is still standing.

        Like

      • 81Dog

        It was a rusting hulk in 1984,and in a baaaaad neighborhood to boot. I was their for the Pulpwood Smith game. Never seen a Shabbir place in my life. Grant Field looked like Jerry World in comparison.

        Like

    • Remember the Quincy

      Legion Field has an uncertain future. Birmingham has a new downtown stadium being built that will open in 2021 and will seat about 45,000. Probably too small for an NFL game.

      Legion Field lacks amenities and is in an awful part of town. It is still used for UAB home games and the Magic City Classic (Alabama A&M vs Alabama State). All that will move to the new stadium once it opens.

      Like

  5. Derek

    Seems like a reasonable idea for teams that can’t get their home crowd out. Not sure what the numbers are on the emptiest Sunday stadiums but I could see cities like:

    Birmingham
    San Antonio
    Orlando
    Memphis
    Columbia
    Omaha

    Maybe drawing a crowd if not just for the novelty.

    I think the Mexico City and London games do well for that reason.

    As far as college campuses? That’s a tough sell unless it’s a marquee match up OR if it’s a former player coming home:

    Stafford vs. Gurley in Athens.
    Brady in Ann Arbor
    Baker in Norman
    Deshaun in Clemville.

    I could see some interest there.

    Like

  6. Go Dawgs!

    If it’s a regular season game, I imagine the NFL players might be happier playing the game in Tuscaloosa than Honolulu. Unless you’re a west coast team, it’s a much shorter trip (and it’s the same distance for many of the west coast squads). And I don’t really think that the teams would be there long enough to enjoy their surroundings much anyway unless they’re coming off of or heading into a bye week.

    It’s a neat idea, but it also screws season ticket holders out of a home game, which is another new tradition I guess the NFL is bringing over from college football.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. BMan

    If they hold a game in Tuscaloosa, can students leave early?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Would the Falcons and the Panthers be willing to play a game in Clemson and in Athens?

    Would the Jags & Bucs play in Orlando or Hogtown?

    How about the Rams & the Chargers in the Rose Bowl?

    I think it would be a novelty that would work for a while especially if the games were in some classic college venues.

    Like

  9. Bulldog Joe

    The taxpayers, PSL holders, and businesses in the NFL communities who shelled out money for new stadiums must love this idea.

    Like

  10. Paul

    I haven’t watched pro football in years. But in the past Miami often fielded a team that had a pretty good chance of losing to a Saban coached Alabama. The fans might pay to see that.

    Like

  11. stoopnagle

    I could see this working in certain cities if they have a stadium that works. Sacramento, Orlando, San Antonio, Austin, Columbus, Columbia, Raleigh, Toronto, Madison, Omaha, Portland… Get regional teams involved and it could be good.

    Like

  12. Otto

    I’d love to see a NFL game played in Clemson or Tuscaloosa just to see it tank and diminish the claim that southerners prefer CFB because they don’t have pro teams.

    Turned the TV on over dinner and the Eagle were playing the Pats as I searched for something else to watch. A hit was delivered, flag thrown, and announcers discussing there would be a fine. Exactly the reason I don’t watch the NFL.

    Like

  13. Will (the other one)

    They won’t say it, but at least part of this has to be that no one wants the Chargers right now…

    Like

  14. See Todd Boogie

    Somewhere, Saban has a staffer figuring out how to leverage this as a recruiting opportunity while Sankey is eyeing another revenue stream.

    Like

  15. whb209@hotmail.com

    Hawaii or Tuscaloosa:
    Hawaii is just too long of a trip. I know both teams would have to make the journey, but the health of the players has to be taken into consideration.
    Tuscaloosa would not be a fun trip unless Atlanta was playing a west coast team which would give the Falcons and advantage.
    If you pay me $10 Million a year I would play on the center line of 285 during rush hour traffic. So really I don’t care where any pro team plays.

    Like

  16. Considering injuries are the #1 thing that ruins teams’ seasons and fans’ interest, the very concept of adding more NFL games is beyond idiotic.

    It also completely destroys any semblance of “caring about safety” – though we already knew that was bullshit.

    I enjoy football but at the same time cannot wait for it to be shut down. It is far too corrupt and broken.

    Like

  17. W Cobb Dawg

    How about St. Louis, San Diego, Oakland, Memphis or San Francisco? Too soon?

    Like

  18. BuffaloSpringfield

    Screw the NFL and their Mexico City, Ireland and England games. Keep their own warm beer and dens of iniquity to themselves. Hell it costs to much to attend a UGA game. If they gave me tickets and their warm beer #FTMF there only wanting into the college game sites and they will do it.
    They can’t sell out there own stadiums. It’s like the circus coming to town. Really they do have a hell a lot of clowns. How many teams actually have a chance to win IT all 3-4 maybe. Nothing ai’d rather see than the Jets and a Panthers in Sanford stadium. Think about IT once IT starts that won’t stop. The only similar comparison is the announcers are as %$((&&((&$#@) as college announcers

    Like

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