Pond hopping: Would London franchise be successful?
The appetite in the London area for the NFL has increased since the league's first game there in 2007, according to John York. (AP)
Count 49ers co-Chair John York as one who isn't necessarily on board with the NFL's expansion plans for Europe -- just yet.
York told the Sports Business Daily Global that putting a franchise in London would be "sort of a shot in the dark," and included the following:
"We don’t know that there’s enough support for a team playing eight regular season games and two preseason games in London. But we do know that we can play two and sell them out very quickly and have a lot of fan interest and growing interest."
York formerly served as the chairman of the NFL's international committee. He's now the chairman of the owners’ health and safety committee.
The appetite in the London area for the NFL has increased since the league's first game there in 2007, according to York. He told SBD Global about 30-percent of the fans that went to the game in '07 (Giants-Dolphins) were from the greater London area. This year, York says the two NFL games (Vikings-Steelers and 49ers-Jaguars) garnered 65 to 70-percent of the fans from the greater London area.
The Raiders are scheduled to play a home game in London in 2014.
For more analysis of York's comments, check out Mike Florio's take on ProFootballTalk.com