London NFL franchise would be "one of the better teams" claims New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr

 
Joe Hall
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Build it for Beckham: The Giants wide receiver has offered his support for a London franchise (Source: Getty)

American football star Odell Beckham Jr is confident London will soon have its own NFL franchise and believes once it does they could be one of the best teams in the league.

The wild-haired wide receiver, famous for gravity-defying one handed catches, will play in London this October when his New York Giants take on the Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham.

It will mark the first time an NFL International Series game has been hosted outside of Wembley in the nine years since it arrived in London and, if successful, could present further evidence of the viability of an NFL franchise calling the UK capital home.

Read more: The legal hurdles standing in the way of a London NFL franchise

"Can I see it happening? Absolutely, you have everything you need to have a franchise and an organisation over here," Beckham Jr told Sky.

"And I know for a fact that the team would get a lot of love. We're growing in this world and bringing football over here is a major thing. At some point in time, whether it's this year, or years after it, we're kind of just paving the way for a London franchise and I truly feel blessed to be a part of this.

"It could even be one of the better teams in the league because it would be hard to come over here and beat these guys year-in, year-out. It's already hard enough to go to Philadelphia and beat them, to Dallas and beating them so I'm just looking forward to seeing what happens."

Former mayor Boris Johnson was a supporter of a London NFL franchise following the success of the International Series which has expanded to three games a year last year and is estimated tohave given London a £45m economic boost since its arrival in 2007.

NFL executive vice president of international Mark Waller told City A.M. that the NFL has increased its fanbase in the UK from 2m to 3.5m in that time.

And according to a Deloitte study, a London franchise would generate around £102m a year for Greater London.

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