Report: London eyes Super Bowl

Updated: May 3, 2009, 7:28 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

LONDON -- London has launched an audacious bid to stage the Super Bowl within the next eight years, a move that would see the United States' biggest sporting event played overseas for the first time, the Sunday Telegraph has reported.

According to the newspaper, representatives from the Mayor of London's office and Visit London, the city's official visitor organization, have received assurances from the National Football League of a commitment to hold the event in London.

The NFL has already staged two sellout regular-season games at Wembley Stadium, with a third scheduled for this October.

"We are looking at 2014, 2015 or 2017," David Hornby, the commercial director for Visit London, was quoted as saying.

Talks have been ongoing with the NFL, which has identified London as the outstanding candidate city to host the event outside of the United States, according to the report.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that the league is not considering playing its championship game in London. He shot down a BBC Sport report that "'substantive talks" were under way between the NFL and London officials.

"We have never looked at London or Mexico City as a site," he said.

The NFL again issued a denial Sunday that a Super Bowl outside the United States was being considered, this time via Twitter.

Brian McCarthy, the NFL's vice president of corporate communications, tweeted: "Re: story from UK. We are not pursuing idea of putting a Super Bowl in London or anywhere outside US. Reports last week/today inaccurate."

According to the Sunday Telegraph, the Super Bowl could be worth $521.1 million to the London economy, although the newspaper also quotes an unnamed NFL spokesman as saying: "The suggestions about London are only theoretical. There is no bid document."

However, Wembley Stadium commercial director Jonathan Gregory said, "We will do everything we can to work with the NFL and help bring this amazing event to London."

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.