Regular season games: Montreal in the crosshairs of the NFL
In its effort to expand internationally, the NFL has never hidden its interest in developing the Canadian market by presenting regular season games there. The league ensures that Montreal is a destination of choice that is studied seriously.
As part of the Super Bowl, during a press conference surrounding the holding of regular season games in Germany starting next season, The newspaper asked if there was such a plan in the pipeline for Canada.
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In answering the question, the NFL’s international chief operating officer, Damani Leech, himself advanced on Montreal.
“The Canadian market is really important for us and geographically, it is less complex than for many other countries. Like everywhere else, we need the right infrastructure and the right partners. »
“Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver are certainly markets that we have watched and will continue to study,” he revealed.
Waiting for a signal
Once the conference was over, the one who is one of the conductors of the Goodell circuit in terms of its overall development agreed to come back more specifically to the possibility of turning to Montreal.
In his eyes, before any serious step, the City must first raise its hand.
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“The first thing is that we first want interested Canadian cities to let us know of their interest. The communities we are currently reaching out to in Germany have come to us to indicate their interest,” Leech said.
“Then you have to see the feasibility of public-private partnerships,” he added.
When the NFL added a game to its regular schedule to increase to 17, it indicated that it wanted to take the opportunity to expand into new countries. The league is already well established in London and Mexico.
“Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver definitely top the list of cities where we would like to host a regular season game,” Leech reiterated.
The right stadium?
It is obviously the Olympic stadium that would be targeted if Montreal were to become a destination of choice for an NFL game.
“It’s certainly a big enough stadium, but the size is not always enough. What should be done is to go there, visit the stadium, observe the site from the perspective of a potential spectator and see how well a football field fits in the premises. »
« Locker room space is also a very important factor since a football team is much bigger than a soccer or baseball team, » Leech said.
The NFL recently tied 18 of its 32 teams to various international markets, stating its intention to play regular-season games there within an eight-year horizon.
Vikings and Seahawks
In Canada, the home clubs are the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks.
“We are doing research and we know we have about 15 million fans across Canada. It’s a mature market for us. According to our studies, we are the second most popular sports league in the country, after the NHL, of course,” concluded Leech.
To date, the only team to play regular-season NFL games in Canada has been the Buffalo Bills, who traveled to Toronto for one game a year from 2008-2013.
The Olympic Stadium was the scene of two pre-season games, in 1988 and 1990.
On to the game!
Both for the Bengals and the Rams, practices ended yesterday. For both teams, it was also the end of the press conferences. This means that all that remains is to wait for the match
! The Bengals, on the splendid campus of UCLA, concluded their practice in the middle of the day under a blazing sun, a question of continuing to acclimatize to the heat.
Head coach Zac Taylor mentioned that tight end CJ Uzomah « is on track to play Sunday [demain] « . The news is less good for his vis-à-vis the Rams Tyler Higbee, who has officially been placed on the injured list. On the other hand, carrier Darrell Henderson and tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day will be activated.
Our dog friends
The huge Los Angeles Convention Center is where most of the action is taking place this week with the media center, the Super Bowl Experience and the gigantic official store.
Once inside, it sometimes feels like a dog show. Yesterday, we had the opportunity to have a chat with a policeman and his sniffer dog.
The impression of seeing dogs everywhere was not false, since there would be more than a hundred on the spot. The mutts are said to be trained for a year to detect any suspicious smells and the police are paired with a dog for two months apprenticed at a canine academy. No, pitou hasn’t detected anything suspicious in our house!
The Rams are popular
In our special feature published this morning, you can see that four of our seven analysts have opted for a Rams victory in the Super Bowl.
I picked the Bengals instead, but the trend in mainstream media elsewhere is leaning towards the Rams. On the ESPN site, among 76 experts consulted, 43 favor the Rams against 33 for the Bengals.
On the Sports Illustrated site, it’s 5-2 in favor of the Rams. Experts on the CBS site meanwhile are split with four seeing the Rams win and as many picking the Bengals.
The NFL.com site is equally shared with 14 experts on each side.