When it was revealed that Shahid Kahn was buying legendary Wembley Stadium, it was apparent that he was looking to do big things in that stadium. The Jaguars and Fulham owner certainly had to have a plan before plunking down close to a billion for a stadium and it seems like Kahn is looking big.
Kahn told BBC Sport that he is looking to continue the tradition of having Wembley host the biggest sports events and that includes the Super Bowl and World Cup Final. England hosted the World Cup in 1966 and Wembley Stadium held nine of 32 matches including the England vs. West Germany Final despite it being at the “old” Wembley. Wembley Stadium was essentially torn down and rebuilt and the new stadium opened in 2007.
The World Cup part is contingent on if England wins the rights to host a World Cup in the future. I’m sure if England does get to host, Wembley will be hosting the Final.
But the Super Bowl part is certainly intriguing to people in this country. Would the NFL or even NFL fans want a Super Bowl that’s not only thousands of miles away but being shown in the afternoon in the United States?
First, the NFL part of this is simple. The NFL and whatever TV partner who is hosting that year will be fine with having a Super Bowl in London if it’s financially lucrative for them. Will ad rates and ratings in the United States be the same if the game is in the afternoon? How will that affect the massively long pregame show? Will that mean the network can do a massively long postgame show? Does that network want to give up their prime nighttime post-Super Bowl slot that they use to get eyeballs on a series?
If nothing changes in revenue or if the NFL believes that they can increase revenue, in addition to how much Kahn is probably willing to pay for the right, the NFL would be open to having a Super Bowl in London.
Now that’s all well and good for the league, what do the fans think? Do the fans want to watch the Super Bowl in the afternoon?
I’m only speaking for me, I would be open to trying an afternoon Super Bowl for a year. It’s not like I’m going to be going to a Super Bowl in person so the location is irrelevant but I could be down for a Super Bowl in the afternoon due to the time zones. You can start having Super Bowl parties in the morning, pregame for some drinks at noon, have the game at 1 ET and it’s over by 5 where you can spend the rest of the night drinking to celebrate or drinking to forget depending on who you rooted for. I think I could do that for a year and see how it goes.
Even Kahn admits that talks to have a Super Bowl at Wembley is “premature” but everything seems to be on the table so never say never.
[BBC Sport/Photo: Getty Images]