In an interview at the NFL honors, Aaron Rodgers told the NFL UK that he’d be looking forward for the Packers to play in London some time. As you might know, the Packers are the only team left that has never played a game in London. Why is that the case? According to Rodgers and team president Mark Murphy, it’s because the Packers “travel well”. Which means, away games are often sold out when the Packers are in town.
No team can be forced to give away a home game – except teams that are relocating like the Rams and Chargers. But they won’t give away a home game against the Packers. Every team knows there is a good chance of a full stadium when the Packers play there. It’s not only because the Packers travel well, as Rodgers and Murphy said, but it’s also because their fanbase is spread all over the country. In comparison to the size of Green Bay, the Packers have an incredible amount of fans that live in every corner of the United States. You’ll find a Packers fan anywhere.
So let’s get to the point of playing in London. I’m a German Packers fan. How in the world could I dislike the Packers playing in London? First, the positives. The Packers have a rock-solid fanbase in Europe. The UK Packers are one of the largest European fanbases, they have good connections to the organization, they travel each year to at least one Packers game in Lambeau. We in Germany have the Packers Germany and because of American Football being shown on Free TV, the fanbase is growing fast. The Packers would have a good chance of having another home game in London.
What I don’t like is the travelling. As Aaron Rodgers told in the video, to really adapt to the new time zone and everything you should travel on Monday. Monday is the day when the players meet in Lambeau Field and have physiotherapists working on their maltreated body. Instead, they would have to board a flight from Green Bay – or maybe even from Chicago – to London and sit 8 hours nonstop on their bottoms. That increases the risk of getting injuries and what I really wouldn’t like to see is a crucial Packers player getting injured in Wembley and being out for the season. Also, the financial standpoint: If you travel to London from Germany, you have to pay the flight, you have to book a hotel and you have to pay the tickets – as you’d have to do if you’d visit a Packers game in Lambeau (that’s different for the UK fans, I know). And after a bad football game – the probability is pretty high, if you look at the recent games in London – the players have to travel back home again – 8 hours. I’d rather see them in the Super Bowl than in London. For me, the risk-reward just doesn’t pay off. Yes, I would like to see the Packers live, but not in London.Max Sachs is an international Packers fan from Germany. As a part of the Packers Germany, he tries to convince everyone around him to cheer for the greatest franchise on earth - or to start with, for American football in general. You can find him on Twitter @KaesekopfDE (the german translation for cheesehead).