Could a Super Bowl ever be staged outside the U.S.?

Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:28pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Munich during Oktoberfest with the appetizing smell of sausages, sauerkraut and beer as the backdrop?

Rio de Janeiro with its loud, boisterous and always colorful carnival atmosphere or Mexico City amid the lively sounds of mariachi bands and the accompanying chants of exuberant spectators?

Any of these three locations could very well end up playing host to a Super Bowl in years to come if the National Football League's (NFL) strategy to expand the sport globally continues to gather pace.

Pie in the sky? Many pundits think so, given that the NFL will remain King of the Hill in the United States for the foreseeable future where its television ratings are richly prized. The league's impact elsewhere is still open to debate.

Furthermore, for a Super Bowl to be staged away from American soil, the hosting city would need to have an NFL franchise already based there, and that scenario does not apply at the moment.

"While a non-U.S. staged Super Bowl is not out of the question, I can't see it happening within the next 15-20 years at least," Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing expert at Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco, told Reuters.

"Imagine a UEFA Champions League final in New York or Los Angeles, that's about an equal scenario. American football is simply too "American" for its most important game to be played anywhere but in America."

For Daniel Durbin, director of the USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media and Society, the lure of future Super Bowls is an increasingly significant factor for potential hosting cities in the United States.   Continued...