THE BUSINESS AND POLITICS OF SPORTS
(St. George, Bermuda) -- St. George, Bermuda is the place where North America's ascendency until a powerful entity began in earnest back in 1612 according to locals. The little island in the middle of the Atlantic has been British possession for more than 400 years despite the town and the Bermuda’s proximity to the United States. It should be a good vantage as a member of the British crown to judge how well the National Football League is doing globally as Bermuda is a destination spot for Americans to vacation or if you have Michael Bloomberg/Ross Perot money to have a residence.
But judging from local media (BBC Sport) or the local newspapers or local bars, the National Football league was far behind the Paralympics which were taking place in London, football (the international variety) and cricket in early September. The island of 65,000 or so people does have a place in Hamilton where bettors can put down some American dollars as a tourist (or create an off shore betting account) and bet on National Football League and college football action along with a myriad of other sports.
The NFL has very little traction in Bermuda.
The National Football League is at present the most successive sports enterprise in United States but globally the league is far behind the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League along with golf, tennis and track and field on the global spectrum among U.S.-based sports leagues. In Bermuda, the BBC World Service makes sure cricket scores from India and Pakistan are blasted globally with stories about individuals who played international football or cricket or rugby.
The National Football League and the American football industry cannot grow at the same rate as Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League globally because of the American football’s support system. All the other sports have youth league feeder systems including “sandlot” baseball in places like the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean countries as well as in the Pacific Rim and Australia.
Basketball is now played globally with the next big push by the NBA with an initiative into India. Jamaica and Qatar are ice hockey playing countries now. American football is not played on the youth level in great numbers anywhere except in North American and that is limited to just the United States and British Columbia, Canada. There is 12 man football throughout the rest of Canada.
That’s the major problem facing the NFL. How does the league get youth league going around the world? Maintaining youth leagues in the United States and school programs may also be challenging in the near time as well. The NFL and the entire football industry may be facing a doomsday scenario a lot sooner than anybody has anticipated.
Former National Football League players are suing the league because they feel the league and the individual teams whether it was team doctors or team trainers hid medical information from them about head injuries.
Although one Allen, Tx. school district spent in excess of $60 million on a new football stadium as part of a voter approved $119 million bond package in 2009 that also included $23 million for an auditorium for arts and cultural events and $36 million for transportation and a nutrition center, there are some serious issues facing the football industry.