NFL on track for full-time franchise in London by 2022
Last Updated: 27/03/15 3:55pm
The NFL's goal of having a team based in London is "absolutely" on track according to Mark Waller, the league's executive vice president for international affairs.
As well as talk of a franchise being relocated to Los Angeles, the league's continuing international expansion was a big talking point at the NFL owners' meetings in Arizona this week.
Wembley will host three more regular season games in 2015, with all of them already sold out, and 40,000 fans bought season tickets to cover all three games, which kick off with the New York Jets against the Miami Dolphins on October 4.
Waller said London would most likely have hosted four games this season (it will in 2016) but for the Rugby World Cup being held in England in September and October, the first two months of the NFL season.
But he said the season ticket base an English NFL team would need was already being met, as well as revealing the NFL is looking to other markets to add to their international portfolio.
Waller told Sky Sports: "I'm very confident. I think everything that we've seen from the UK fans is that there is a huge demand for a team and a full season. The momentum is building.
"In terms of timing, I think we've always been pretty consistent that somewhere in the 2020 timeframe is probably a realistic timeframe. There's an awful lot of work that has to be done to make sure, not only can we put a team there, but that is can be competitive.
"We always felt there was a huge British fanbase that existed from when the game was first introduced in the 1980s. We're very pleased with the demand and more importantly with the reaction from the people who have been to the games. They loved the experience which is great.
"Four games (in 2016) will be essentially half a season so it would be great to get to that number in the UK."
There has been talk that Brazil will host the 2017 Pro Bowl while Germany is under consideration for a regular season visit, although the lack of a regular season television deal in that country is a problem. At the moment German viewers see only the play-offs and Super Bowl.
"The work we're doing now is to ask, 'How do we accelerate the agenda in Mexico, Canada and China?'" Waller said.
"Those would be our next stage, and we have offices in those three countries. And then, after those, where should be our focus? I think we've concluded that Brazil and Germany are the next two frontier markets, which is where the Pro Bowl idea comes from."