A BBC story reporting that the NFL is on schedule to permanently place a team in London by 2022 is false, league spokesman Brian McCarthy told NBC Sports on Wednesday.
As many as three regular-season games have been played in London each year since 2007, and three more are slated for next season. But the NFL’s executive vice chairman for international, Mark Waller, recently made a comment to the BBC that was interpreted to mean that the league plans to do more than just visit a few times every 12 months.
“I felt in 2007 it was always a 15-year journey,” Waller told the BBC. “I think we’re on track to deliver that. I fundamentally believe we will deliver that.”
But McCarthy said that interpretation of Waller’s comment is “not true.”
“What Mark Waller said was that when the International Series began in 2007, he felt that in 15 years, if things proceeded successfully, ownership may be in a position to make a decision about having a permanent franchise in the U.K.,” McCarthy said.
“The fan base is big enough and passionate enough that it can support a franchise,” Waller told the BBC of London.