The NFL is determined to create -- and build on -- a presence in Europe, evidenced by how the league has held one game there per year and plans to hold even more regular season contests overseas.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted the New England Patriots at Wembley Stadium last year, and now a report suggests that if the NFL wants to establish a team in Europe on a full-time basis that the Bucs could be the leading candidates.
The prime candidates for a regular appearance at Wembley Stadium would be the teams that can't sell out their American venues. The Jaguars and the Bucs are getting less than 50,000 fans to show up on a consistent basis; in England, the annual NFL game draws more than 80,000.
But here's the unspoken yet inevitable reality. The teams chosen to build a fan base in England becomes the most likely to eventually move there.
Right now, we'd bet on the Bucs becoming one of the teams to regularly play in Britain -- and on the Bucs becoming one of the eventual candidates to pack up the literal Mayflower and sail back to the land from which the earliest American immigrants came.
- Mike FlorioPewterReport.com's Take
: Don't worry, Bucs fans. While ProFootballTalk.com's logic for the Bucs possibly moving to London makes some sense, there is one very important piece of information missing. When th Glazers received help from the city of Tampa to fund Raymond James Stadium Tampa Bay's owners locked into a contract with the Tampa Sports Authority that was believed to be 25 years long. Ray-Jay opened its doors in 1998, so ownership isn't even halfway through that contract. It would also become less likely that the Glazers would even want to move the Buccaneers if the team can start winning again. The Tampa Bay fan base has proven to be supportive when the Bucs field a playoff-caliber football team in years past. Having the economy turn around and the unemployment rate improve certainly would help the Bucs fill the stands at Ray-Jay as well.
Copyright © 2011 Pewter Report, PewterReport.com and Pewter Insider. All rights reserved. PewterReport.com, the official site of Pewter Report, is an independent source of news and commentary and is not affiliated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the NFL.