76ers owners interested in London NFL team, says somebody

Hey, there might actually be somebody crazy enough to want to own an NFL team in London! According to NBA columnist Mitch Lawrence writing on the Forbes website, “industry sources” say that Josh Harris and David Blitzer, owners of the Philadelphia 76ers, are “gunning to own the first NFL team in London.” In fact, their recent purchase of minority shares of the Premier League’s Crystal Palace, according to Lawrence, is an attempt to “get to know the market” in advance of a London NFL push.

Lawrence is a former New York Daily News basketball columnist now writing for Forbes as a “contributor” (i.e., freelance, possibly not paid); the number of named sources in his story is zero, which is always a bit of a red flag, and Lawrence’s previous record with unnamed sources includes plenty of misses. Presumably somebody chose to leak this through him, likely Harris and Blitzer themselves, which would make sense if they want to position themselves as the top candidates to get a London expansion franchise if one becomes available for the right price … but now we’re deep into multiple levels of speculation. File this one away, anyway, and if it comes up again, preferably from someone with an actual name, we can start to take it more seriously.

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4 comments on “76ers owners interested in London NFL team, says somebody

  1. What better way to get to know the market for a sport that no one in London watches than dropping $150M for stake in a club in a sport Brits are obsessed with. Brilliant!

  2. You would think they would be more concerned about the sorry state of the NBA laughing-stock franchise they actually own instead of setting their sights elsewhere. But alas, there is no logic when it comes to sports franchise ownership.

  3. Smart owners know the value of symbolic gestures, like having a nice rendition of your imaginary future Los Angeles home drawn up and distributed to local media lackeys as though the bulldozers are idling nearby, ready to pounce and help you move outta town! You have to spin the news cycle so things flow your way in the long run. Things like public stadium cash.

  4. With 5 teams playing in the Premier League (none of them franchises, a vilified concept in Europe), I don’t see how the NFL can compete in London.

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