FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The NFL folded its development league in Europe after 16 years on Friday, calling the decision a sound business move that will allow for a stronger international focus on regular-season games outside the United States.
The announcement came less than a week after the Hamburg Sea Devils beat the Frankfurt Galaxy 37-28 in the World Bowl title game in Frankfurt before a crowd of 48,125. Five of the league’s six teams are based in Germany, with the other in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
A statement on the German-language edition of the NFL’s website said the NFL decided to concentrate its “strategies and resources” on regular-season games outside the United States in an effort to reach as many people as possible. . .
“We thank our fans for the great support in the past years,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was quoted as saying.
Goodell said it was time to develop a new international strategy, terming the move to fold NFL Europa the “best business decision.” The league reportedly was losing about $30 million a season.
“From now on we will focus on regular-season games and use new technologies to make NFL more popular worldwide,” he said.
NFL team owners decided in October to play up to two regular-season games outside the United States. The first such game is Oct. 28 in London between the Miami Dolphins and the New York Giants. . . (Full Story)