Goodell talks playoff expansion, London and LA-based teams

Wed Jan 8, 2014 11:44am EST
 
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(Reuters) - National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell said league owners are considering an expanded playoff format and that he would like to see franchises in Los Angeles and London.

Nearly every game during the final week of the NFL's 2013 regular season had playoff implications and Goodell said the league needs to maintain that competitiveness, and expanding the current 12-team postseason format could be the answer.

"That is under serious consideration," Goodell told an event in New York on Tuesday. "One of the great things about the NFL other than it's unscripted is that every team starts the season with hope."

While Goodell admitted that NFL owners are considering the addition of two wild-card teams to the playoff mix, he did not offer a timeline for when such a change would occur.

He did, however, offer support for basing teams in London, where the NFL has held a regular season game each year beginning with the 2007 season, and Los Angeles, where the league has been without a team since 1995.

Los Angeles has been the largest U.S. market without an NFL team since the Raiders left for Oakland nearly 20 years ago.

The NFL's International Series, which began in 2007 with one game per season at London's Wembley Stadium, was created to help grow the league's fan base. The game's regularly attract crowds of over 80,000 and three games will be held at Wembley in 2014.

"I think it's possible if we continue to have success in London that we would have a franchise there," said Goodell, who did not express a preference for which city - London or Los Angeles - might land an NFL franchise first.

"I don't know which will be first and I'm not sure I care. I'd like to see if we can be successful in both ultimately."   Continued...

 
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell takes part in an NFL Play 60 Youth Football Clinic with top NFL Draft prospects ahead of the 2013 NFL Draft in New York City, April 24, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar