GLASGOW, Scotland -- The Scottish Claymores NFL Europe franchise has folded due to falling attendance, leaving the league with only one team outside of Germany.
Shutting down the Claymores was the "toughest decision this
league has ever had to make," NFL Europe managing director Jim
Connelly said Thursday.
The Claymores had been in the league since 1995. The team
averaged attendance of 10,800 over 10 seasons, but the numbers have
dropped the past three years.
"The economics of our league and the interest shown by other
cities have forced us to look at whether there are other markets
that give us a greater opportunity of improving our business,"
Connelly said. "We believe at this time that such an opportunity
The league said a new franchise will be announced "in the near
future." Gelsenkirchen, Germany, has been mentioned as a likely
NFL Europe, which serves as developmental league for the NFL,
already has four teams in Germany -- the Frankfurt Galaxy, Berlin
Thunder, Rhein Fire and Cologne Centurions. The only non-German
franchise is the Amsterdam Admirals.
The league was launched in 1991 as the World League of American
Football. The league, which originally featured 10 European and
U.S. franchises, shut down after the 1992 season.
The league returned in 1995 with a six-team all-European format
and with the NFL as financial backer.