The Saints are off to play their game in London, so I thought I would ponder on the logistics of having a team permanently in London.  Were this a kingdom and I the king (and if I thought it would help fill my royal coffers by putting a team in London) here’s how I might go about it.

I would have a team that represented 2 cities.  For example, I would have the Jacksonville/London Jaguars (or some other team, doesn’t have to be Jacksonville).  They’d play 4 home games in London and 4 home games in Jacksonville.  This would accomplish 2 goals: 1) the other 31 teams would only need to go to London on average 1 time every 7.75 years, so it’s really not that big a burden; and 2) we could minimize the London trips for the Jacksonville (or whoever goes) team to just 1 or maybe 2 road trips a year.  They could play 2 home games in a row in London early in the season, and then make another 2-game road trip later in the season.  The rest of the time the team would be based out of Jacksonville.

The schedule would be something like this: NFC teams would play 1 time in London every 8 years.  We just take the 2 NFC teams that already play in Jacksonville every year and use those as 2 of the 4 London games.  That works out to 1 trip per every 8 years for NFC teams.  Jacksonville also plays every division opponent at home 3 times a year, so if we rotate 1 of those games every other year, division opponents would only need to go to London 1 time per every 6 years.  In years a division opponent goes to London, we only need 1 other AFC team to go, which can be 1 of the division matchup opponents (example, 1 of the 2 AFC East home game teams in years the AFC South plays the AFC East), in other years where no division opponent goes we just take the 2 division matchup opponents.  The division opponents would then go 1 time every 6 years and the division matchup opponents would go either 1 time in 6 years or 1 time in 12 years, depending on the cycle, but the average would be 1 time every 8 years.

It breaks down like this: NFC teams 1 trip to London every 8 years.  Inside division AFC teams (Tennessee, Houston, and Indy) go 1 time every 6 years.  Outside division AFC teams (the other 12 teams) go either 1 time every 6 or 1 time every 12 years (1 every 8 years on average).  Nobody ever has to go more often than 1 time in any 6 year period.  The advantage to this is teams and their fans can plan for a London trip years in advance.  Saints fans, for example, could know as much as 8 years in advance when the next London trip would be coming up, the year of it if not the exact date.

Playoff games would complicate it somewhat.  I could just decree that all playoff games are played in Jacksonville (I’m king, remember) or I could decree odd year playoff home games are played in Jacksonville, while even year playoff home games are played in London.  Alternatively, the next time you get a home game (or games) you play them in Jacksonville, and after that the next time you get home playoff games you play them in London that year.  The problem with playoff games in London is now you’ve upset the nice little equitable (or semi-equitable) rotation apple cart.  Easy enough fix: if you don’t want to have to go play playoff games in London, win enough games to get the better seed.