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NFL Europe
NFLEuropa.png
NFL Europa logo
Sport American football
Founded 1995
No. of teams 6
Country(ies) Germany (1995–2007)
Netherlands (1995–2007)
Spain (1995–2003)
United Kingdom (1995–2004)
Ceased 2007
Last champion(s) Hamburg Sea Devils

NFL Europe was an American football league which operated in Europe from 1991 until 2007. Backed by the National Football League (NFL), the largest professional American football league in the United States, it was founded as the World League of American Football (WLAF) to serve as a type of spring league. In 1995, when the league was revamped after a two-year hiatus, the league was renamed the World League. In 1997, the league rebranded itself as the NFL Europe League or NFL Europe. After the 2006 season, the league's name changed again, this time to NFL Europa.

At the time of its disbanding, there were six teams in the league: five based in Germany and one in the Netherlands. Players in NFL Europa were predominantly assigned by National Football League teams who wanted these younger, "developmental" players to get additional game experience and coaching. The expenses of these players and their coaches while living in Europe were assumed by the league.

On 29 June 2007, the NFL announced NFL Europa would immediately cease operations.[1]

Contents

History

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World League of American Football (WLAF)

NFL Europe was founded in 1991 as the World League of American Football. The original WLAF was an American football league partially backed by the National Football League and, like the later NFL Europa, was a spring developmental league. Originally, the ancestor to NFL Europe had 10 teams playing a 10-game regular season: six teams from the United States, three European teams, and one Canadian team. Two additional franchises were initially proposed in Mexico City and Milan, but never formed. The two teams emerging from the WLAF semi-final playoffs met at the end of the season in the World Bowl. The first two World Bowl games were held at predetermined locations much like the modern Super Bowl. The original WLAF was barely noticed in the United States, and only marginally more popular in Europe. Total attendances at the fifty games in each season were between 1.2 and 1.3 million, giving an average game attendance in the mid twenty thousands. The WLAF suspended operations in 1993 prior to the season. The Frankfurt Galaxy was the last WLAF team left in NFL Europe.

NFL Europe

The National Football League still liked the idea of a spring developmental league, and after revamping itself into an exclusively European circuit, the league re-launched in 1995, consisting of the three existing European teams from the original format as well as three new teams in Amsterdam, Düsseldorf and Edinburgh (who would compete as Scotland). All six teams play in a single division and the 10-game format was preserved. The original playoff format matched the first-half champion against the team with the best overall season record (or the runner-up, in the event the first-half champion also had the best overall record.) The first-half champion would host the championship game. This format was abandoned after the 1997 season. In subsequent years, the two teams with the best overall record after 10 games competed in the World Bowl, to be hosted at a pre-determined site. The change was largely attributed to the play of the eventual 1997 World Bowl champions, the Barcelona Dragons, who secured a World Bowl berth with a 4-1 first-half record and proceeded to rest players and play what some argued was low-intensity football in the second half, finishing with just a 5-5 record and third place overall in the league's standings.

By the end of the 1997 season, the league was growing concerned that their markets outside of Germany were not living up to their potential. Radical changes were made to the two British teams, spelling the beginning of the end for one. The London Monarchs would become the England Monarchs, switch their colours from blue, gold and red to red, white and black, and play their home games in London, Birmingham and Bristol. The league had been unhappy with the Monarchs as it was, since the field at their London stadium, White Hart Lane, was only 93 yards long—nowhere near enough to hold a full 100 yards and two ten-yard endzones. Also, the Scottish Claymores would divide their schedule between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Then, at a press conference in San Diego, California, during Super Bowl XXXII weekend, the league announced it too would be changing: the league would be rebranded as the NFL Europe League.

The NFL Europe era was beset by instability. The England Monarchs were shut down after the 1998 season, being replaced by the Berlin Thunder. In 2002, the Barcelona Dragons became an official section of FC Barcelona, adopting the name FC Barcelona Dragons, but folded after the 2003 season, when Barça dropped its sponsorship and the NFL was not interested in keeping the franchise alive. A new German franchise, the Cologne Centurions, took the Dragons' place in the league in 2004. The Scottish Claymores, one of the 3 teams added to the league in 1995, were also discontinued with their replacements, the Hamburg Sea Devils, being established for the 2005 season. With this change, five of the six teams in the league's final incarnation were from Germany, with one from the Netherlands, leading some of the league's detractors to refer to it as 'NFL Deutschland' or 'NFL Germany'; even speculating that the Admirals were only still in the Netherlands because they had won World Bowl XIII, and it wouldn't look good if the league moved its champions, or simply to justify its "European" identity by keeping one team outside the German borders. German teams, unsurprisingly, won all 7 World Bowl Championships between 1998 and 2004. In 2005 the total attendance at the thirty games was 568,935, and the average attendance of 18,965 was the highest since 1992. On the other hand, TV contracts were cancelled as a result of teams moving out of the countries they were based upon, such as the NFLEL deal with satellite TV platform Digital+ in Spain after the demise of the Barcelona Dragons.

In 2006, the league's schedule opened and closed one month earlier than normal because of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which was played at four of the five German stadiums that hosted NFL Europa teams. (Only the LTU Arena in Düsseldorf was not chosen to host Cup matches, and that stadium hosted the World Bowl that year.)

NFL Europa/Cessation of operations

On 11 September 2006, NFL Europe officially re-branded itself as NFL Europa.

On 29 June 2007, NFL officials announced that the league would be disbanded effective immediately[1], calling the decision a sound business move that will allow for a stronger international focus on regular-season games outside the United States.

The announcement came less than a week after the Hamburg Sea Devils beat the Frankfurt Galaxy 37–28 in the World Bowl championship in Frankfurt in front of a crowd of 48,125.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell thanked the fans for their support but said it was time to develop a new international strategy, terming the move to fold NFL Europa the "best business decision." The league reportedly was losing about $30 million a season.

Experimental rules

The NFL has traditionally used a sudden death format for overtime. Regular season games have a single period of overtime during which the first team to score wins the game. If neither team scores, the game is declared a tie. In post-season games, overtime is extended indefinitely until one team scores. In NFL Europa, however, the overtime period lasted for 10 minutes with the requirement that each team must have the opportunity of possession at least once. So, in NFL Europa, it was possible for one team to score in overtime then have to kick-off to the opponent and give them a chance to either equalize or win the game. The winner was the team with the highest score after both teams had had possession. If the score was even after the second team's possession, the overtime would continue as sudden death. If still tied after 10 minutes, the game ends as a tie. Only two games ever remained tied after overtime in WLAF/NFL Europa history: London Monarchs versus Birmingham Fire in Week 4 of the 1992 season, and Berlin Thunder at Hamburg Sea Devils, on 1 April 2006. The score of both games was 17–17.[2]

With association football (or soccer) being the traditionally popular sport in Europe and American football being a relative newcomer, the rules were changed slightly to encourage a greater element of kicking which was intended to make the game more enjoyable for football and rugby fans. The league did this by awarding four points to field goals of more than 50 yards, as opposed to three points in the NFL. This had the interesting side-effect that a touchdown and point-after lead (seven points) could be equaled by one regular field goal (three points) along with a long field goal (four points). This concept would later be adopted by the proposed New United States Football League, with the distance required for the fourth point increased from 50 to 55 yards.

Also, there was a requirement that at least one player of non-American extraction, referred to as "national" players, participate in every down for both teams as of the 2006 season (in previous seasons one was required to play only on every down of every other series). In addition to European players a number of Mexican and Japanese players played as national players. Up until the 2004 season, kicked conversion attempts and short field goals were attempted by national players. Since there are few European players who have had the chance to compete at a level comparable to U.S. college football and the NFL, many, if not most, of the European players ended up as kickers.

Among the notable national players included Scott McCready, an English wide receiver who played some preseason games for the New England Patriots, the Claymores' wide receiver Scott Couper, who played a pre-season game for the Chicago Bears, Constantin Ritzmann, a German defensive end who had played for the University of Tennessee, and Rob Hart, an English rugby player who became a placekicker; he kicked barefoot.

Uniforms

The 1995 WLAF relaunch featured uniforms with a significantly different look to what is traditionally associated with American football. Instead of the full-size numbers centred on the front of the jersey, the team logos took precedence, with a smaller number over the right collarbone area. [3] The Monarchs reverted to the traditional look in 1997 and the rest of the league followed a year later.

NFL Europe teams

Team Active
Netherlands Amsterdam Admirals 1995–2007
Spain Barcelona Dragons 1991–2003
Germany Berlin Thunder 1999–2007
Germany Cologne Centurions 2004–2007
Germany Frankfurt Galaxy 1991–2007
Germany Hamburg Sea Devils 2005–2007
England London/England Monarchs 1991–1998
Germany Rhein Fire 1995–2007
Scotland Scottish Claymores 1995–2004

Attendance

Team Year 2007 Year 2006 Year 2005 Change 06/07
Frankfurt Galaxy
33,043
28,118
29,377
+ 4,925
Rhein Fire
24,473
22,020
22,532
+ 2,453
Hamburg Sea Devils
20,874
15,082
17,920
+ 5,792
Berlin Thunder
15,710
13,819
16,848
+ 1,891
Cologne Centurions
14,352
13,538
14,238
+ 814
Amsterdam Admirals
11,668
13,421
12,877
- 1,753
Average 20,020 17,666 18,966 + 2,354

Source: Kenn.com

Year Games Total Average
World League
1991 50 1,268,066 25,361
1992 50 1,210,817 24,216
1993 -- -- --
1994 -- -- --
1995 30 436,853 14,562
1996 30 516,171 17,206
NFL Europe
1997 30 546,433 18,214
1998 30 499,034 16,634
1999 30 544,844 18,161
2000 30 540,438 18,015
2001 30 557,038 18,568
2002 30 541,546 18,052
2003 30 494,448 16,482
2004 30 477,741 15,925
2005 30 568,935 18,965
2006 30 529,988 17,666
NFL Europa
2007 30 600,600 20,020
15 490 9,332,952 19,047

Stadiums

Team Stadium Years Used Capacity Opened City
Amsterdam Admirals Amsterdam ArenA 1997–2007 51,859 1996 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Olympisch Stadion 1995–1996
2000 (one game)
2007 (one game)
31,600 1928
Barcelona Dragons Mini Estadi 2001–2003 15,276 1982 Barcelona, Spain
Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys 1995–2000
1991–1992
56,000 1929
Berlin Thunder Olympiastadion 2003–2007 76,000 1936 Berlin, Germany
F. L. Jahn Sportpark 1999–2002
2006 (one game)
19,500 1951
Cologne Centurions RheinEnergieStadion 2004–2007 50,374 1923 Cologne, Germany
England Monarchs Crystal Palace National Sports Centre 1998 15,500 1964 London, England
Ashton Gate 1998 (one game) 21,500 1900 Bristol, England
Alexander Stadium 1998 (one game) 7,600 1976 Birmingham, England
Frankfurt Galaxy Commerzbank-Arena
Waldstadion (1925–2005)
2005–2007
1995–2005
1991–1992
52,000 1925 Frankfurt, Germany
Hamburg Sea Devils AOL Arena 2005–2007 55,989 2000 Hamburg, Germany
London Monarchs Stamford Bridge 1996 (one game)
1997
42,449 1877 London, England
White Hart Lane 1995–1996 36,240 1899
Wembley Stadium 1991–1992 80,000 1923
Rhein Fire LTU Arena 2005–2007 51,500 2004 Düsseldorf, Germany
Arena AufSchalke 2003–2004 61,524 2001 Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Rheinstadion 1995–2002 55,900 1926 Düsseldorf, Germany
Scottish Claymores Hampden Park 1998–2000, 2002 (part time),
2001, 2003–2004 (full time)
52,500 1903 Glasgow, Scotland
Murrayfield Stadium 1995–1997 (full time),
1998–2000 (part-time),
2002 (one game)
67,500 1925 Edinburgh, Scotland

Television coverage

Although the last version of the NFL's developmental league had no U.S. teams, American television coverage continued until the end. From 1995 to 1998, the primary TV carrier was FX, which carried two games a week, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday. From 1999 to 2004, Fox Sports Net showed a "game of the week" on Saturday, with DirecTV viewers receiving additional live games on channels that normally carried NFL Sunday Ticket. In 2005, NFL Network began showing all regular season games, either live or on tape delay, and this continued until the league folded.

From 1995 to 2005, Fox showed the World Bowl and two or three regular season games annually. In 2006 and 2007, NFL Network showed the title game.

Announcers who called NFL Europe games over the years included Curt Menefee, Nick Halling, Ari Wolfe, Troy Aikman, Daryl 'Moose' Johnston, Michael Reghi, and Brentson Buckner.

Game broadcasts were also available throughout Europe and in other territories throughout the world.

EuroPass, an offshoot of FieldPass, broadcast Internet video of games, free of charge, in the league's later years.

Notes and references

See also

External links


NFL Europa
Sport American football
Founded 1995
No. of teams 6
Country(ies) Germany (1995-2007)
United Kingdom (1995-2004)
Spain (1995-2003)
Netherlands (1995-2007)
Ceased 2007
Last champion(s) Hamburg Sea Devils
Official website NFLEurope.com

NFL Europa was an American football league which operated in Europe from 1991 until 2007. Backed by the National Football League (NFL), the largest professional American football league in the United States, it was founded as the World League of American Football (WLAF) to serve as a type of spring league. In 1995, when the league was revamped after a two-year hiatus, the league was renamed the World League. In 1997, the league rebranded itself as the NFL Europe League or NFL Europe. After the 2006 season, the league's name changed again, this time to NFL Europa.

At the time of its disbanding, there were six teams in the league: five based in Germany and one in the Netherlands. Players in NFL Europa were predominantly assigned by National Football League teams who wanted these younger, "developmental" players to get additional game experience and coaching. The expenses of these players and their coaches while living in Europe were assumed by the league.

On June 29, 2007, the NFL announced NFL Europa would immediately cease operations.[1]

Contents

History

American Football Pioneers in Europe

An early precursor to the NFL Europe league was the 1976 summer exhibition tour of the Texas A&I University Javelina football team from Kingsville, Texas (now known as Texas A&M University - Kingsville). The Javelinas were coached by the legendary Gil Steinke. At the time, the Javelinas were in the midst of what would become a 42-game winning streak when they played five exhibition games in Europe with Henderson State of Arkansas, the 1974 NAIA runner up. The Javelinas won all five games. The three-week European Tour was organized to introduce and test market American football in Europe. The games were played in Berlin, Vienna, Mannheim, Nuremberg, and Paris on modified soccer fields. The Javelinas won the 1974, 1975 and 1976 NAIA National Championships. With the five exhibition games, the Javelina's unofficial winning streak was extended to 47 games. Many Javelina players from that era were drafted by the NFL and some played in the Canadian Football League as well, but all who made the (so called) traveling squad to Europe consider the trip one of the highlights of their football careers.

World League of American Football (WLAF)


NFL Europa was founded in 1991 as the World League of American Football. The original WLAF was an American football league partially backed by the National Football League and, like the later NFL Europa, was a spring developmental league. Originally, the ancestor to NFL Europa had 10 teams playing a 10-game regular season: six teams from the United States, three European teams, and one Canadian team. Two additional franchises were initially proposed in Paris and Mexico City, but never formed. The two teams emerging from the WLAF semi-final playoffs met at the end of the season in the World Bowl. The first two World Bowl games were held at predetermined locations much like the modern Super Bowl. The original WLAF was barely noticed in the United States, and only marginally more popular in Europe. Total attendances at the fifty games in each season were between 1.2 and 1.3 million, giving an average game attendance in the mid twenty thousands. The WLAF suspended operations in 1993 prior to the season. The Frankfurt Galaxy was the last WLAF team left in NFL Europa.

Two WLAF teams, the Sacramento Surge and San Antonio Riders, moved to the Canadian Football League. The Riders never played in the CFL, but the Surge did, changing their name to the Sacramento Gold Miners. As the Gold Miners, the team played from 1993 to 1994, playing an additional year as the San Antonio Texans in 1995 before folding. The Gold Miners were part of the league's "CFL USA" initiative and were one of the league's more successful franchises.

NFL Europe

The National Football League still liked the idea of a spring developmental league, and after revamping itself into an exclusively European circuit, the league re-launched in 1995, consisting of the three existing European teams from the original format as well as three new teams in Amsterdam, Düsseldorf and Edinburgh (who would compete as Scotland). All six teams play in a single division and the 10-game format was preserved. The original playoff format matched the first-half champion against the team with the best overall season record (or the runner-up, in the event the first-half champion also had the best overall record.) The first-half champion would host the championship game. This format was abandoned after the 1997 season. In subsequent years, the two teams with the best overall record after 10 games competed in the World Bowl, to be hosted at a pre-determined site. The change was largely attributed to the play of the eventual 1997 World Bowl champions, the Barcelona Dragons, who secured a World Bowl berth with a 4-1 first-half record and proceeded to rest players and play what some argued was low-intensity football in the second half, finishing with just a 5-5 record and third place overall in the league's standings.

By the end of the 1997 season, the league was growing concerned that their markets outside of Germany were not living up to their potential. Radical changes were made to the two British teams, spelling the beginning of the end for one. The London Monarchs would become the England Monarchs, switch their colours from blue, gold and red to red, white and black, and play their home games in London, Birmingham and Bristol. The league had been unhappy with the Monarchs as it was, since the field at their London stadium, White Hart Lane, was only 93 yards long - nowhere near enough to hold a full 100 yards and two ten-yard endzones. Also, the Scottish Claymores would divide their schedule between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Then, at a press conference in San Diego, California, during Super Bowl XXXII weekend, the league announced it too would be changing: the league would be rebranded as the NFL Europe League.

The NFL Europe era was beset by instability. The England Monarchs were shut down after the 1998 season, being replaced by the Berlin Thunder. In 2002, the Barcelona Dragons became an official section of FC Barcelona, adopting the name FC Barcelona Dragons, but folded after the 2003 season, when Barça dropped its sponsorship and the NFL was not interested in keeping the franchise alive. A new German franchise, the Cologne Centurions, took the Dragons' place in the league in 2004. The Scottish Claymores, one of the 3 teams added to the league in 1995, were also discontinued with their replacements, the Hamburg Sea Devils, being established for the 2005 season. With this change, five of the six teams in the league's final incarnation were from Germany, with one from the Netherlands, leading some of the league's detractors to refer to it as 'NFL Deutschland' or 'NFL Germany'; even speculating that the Admirals were only still in the Netherlands because they had won World Bowl XIII, and it wouldn't look good if the league moved its champions, or simply to justify its "European" identity by keeping one team outside the German borders. German teams, unsurprisingly, won all 7 World Bowl Championships between 1998 and 2004. In 2005 the total attendance at the thirty games was 568,935, and the average attendance of 18,965 was the highest since 1992. On the other hand, TV contracts were cancelled as a result of teams moving out of the countries they were based upon, such as the NFLEL deal with satellite TV platform Digital+ in Spain after the demise of the Barcelona Dragons.

In 2006, the league's schedule opened and closed one month earlier than normal because of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which was played at four of the five German stadiums that hosted NFL Europa teams. (Only the LTU Arena in Düsseldorf was not chosen to host Cup matches, and that stadium hosted the World Bowl that year.)

NFL Europa/Cessation of operations

On September 11, 2006, NFL Europe officially re-branded itself as NFL Europa.

On June 29, 2007, NFL officials announced that the league would be disbanded effective immediately[1], calling the decision a sound business move that will allow for a stronger international focus on regular-season games outside the United States.

The announcement came less than a week after the Hamburg Sea Devils beat the Frankfurt Galaxy 37-28 in the World Bowl championship in Frankfurt in front of a crowd of 48,125.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell thanked the fans for their support but said it was time to develop a new international strategy, terming the move to fold NFL Europa the "best business decision." The league reportedly was losing about $30 million a season.

Experimental rules

The NFL has traditionally used a sudden death format for overtime. Regular season games have a single period of overtime during which the first team to score wins the game. If neither team scores, the game is declared a tie. In post-season games, overtime is extended indefinitely until one team scores. In NFL Europa, however, the overtime period lasted for 10 minutes with the requirement that each team must have the opportunity of possession at least once. So, in NFL Europa, it was possible for one team to score in overtime then have to kick-off to the opponent and give them a chance to either equalize or win the game. The winner was the team with the highest score after both teams had had possession. If the score was even after the second team's possession, the overtime would continue as sudden death. If still tied after 10 minutes, the game ends as a tie. Only two games ever remained tied after overtime in WLAF/NFL Europa history: London Monarchs versus Birmingham Fire in Week 4 of the 1992 season, and Berlin Thunder at Hamburg Sea Devils, on April 1 2006. The score of both games was 17-17[2].

With association football being the traditionally popular sport in Europe and American football being a relative newcomer, the rules were changed slightly to encourage a greater element of kicking which was intended to make the game more enjoyable for football and rugby fans. The league did this by awarding 4 points to field goals of more than 50 yards, as opposed to 3 points in the NFL. This had the interesting side-effect that a touchdown & PAT lead (7 points) could be equaled by one regular field goal (3 points) as well as a long field goal (4 points). This concept would later be adopted by the proposed New United States Football League, with the distance required for the fourth point increased from 50 to 55 yards.

Also, there was a requirement that at least one player of Non-American extraction, referred to as "national" players, participate in every down for both teams as of the 2006 season (in previous seasons one was required to play only on every down of every other series). In addition to European players a number of Mexican and Japanese players played as national players. Up until the 2004 season kicked conversion attempts and short field goals were attempted by national players. Since there are few European players who have had the chance to compete at a level comparable to U.S. college football and the NFL, many, if not most, of the European players ended up as kickers.

Among the notable national players included Scott McCready, an English wide receiver who played some preseason games for the New England Patriots, the Claymores' wide receiver Scott Couper who played a pre-season game for the Chicago Bears, Constantin Ritzmann, a German defensive end who had played for the University of Tennessee, and Rob Hart, an English rugby player who became a placekicker; he kicked barefoot.

Uniforms

The 1995 WLAF relaunch featured uniforms with a significantly different look to what is traditionally associated with American football. Instead of the full-size numbers centred on the front of the jersey, the team logos took precedence, with a smaller number over the right collarbone area. [3] The Monarchs reverted to the traditional look in 1997 and the rest of the league followed a year later.

NFL Europa teams

Lineup when league folded

Team Founded
Amsterdam Admirals 1995
Berlin Thunder 1999
Cologne Centurions 2004
Frankfurt Galaxy 1991
Hamburg Sea Devils 2005
Rhein Fire 1995

Attendance

Team Year 2007 Year 2006 Year 2005 Change 06/07
Frankfurt Galaxy
33,043
28,118
29,377
+ 4,925
Rhein Fire
24,473
22,020
22,532
+ 2,453
Hamburg Sea Devils
20,874
15,082
17,920
+ 5,792
Berlin Thunder
15,710
13,819
16,848
+ 1,891
Cologne Centurions
14,352
13,538
14,238
+ 814
Amsterdam Admirals
11,668
13,421
12,877
- 1,753
Average 20,020 17,666 18,966 + 2,354

Source: Kenn.com

Year Games Total Average
World League
1991 50 1,268,066 25,361
1992 50 1,210,817 24,216
1993 -- -- --
1994 -- -- --
1995 30 436,853 14,562
1996 30 516,171 17,206
NFL Europe
1997 30 546,433 18,214
1998 30 499,034 16,634
1999 30 544,844 18,161
2000 30 540,438 18,015
2001 30 557,038 18,568
2002 30 541,546 18,052
2003 30 494,448 16,482
2004 30 477,741 15,925
2005 30 568,935 18,965
2006 30 529,988 17,666
NFL Europa
2007 30 600,600 20,020
15 490 9,332,952 19,047

Stadiums

The following is a list of former NFL Europa stadiums.

Teams from NFL Europa's final season (2007)
Team Stadium Years Used Capacity Opened City
Amsterdam Admirals Amsterdam ArenA 1997-2007 51,859 1996 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Olympisch Stadion 1995-1996,
one game in 2000,
one game in 2007
31,600 1928
Berlin Thunder Olympiastadion 2004-2007 76,000 1936 Berlin, Germany
F. L. Jahn Sportpark 1998-2003 19,500 1951
Cologne Centurions RheinEnergieStadion 2004-2007 50,374 1923 Cologne, Germany
Frankfurt Galaxy Commerzbank-Arena
Waldstadion (1925-2005)
2005-2007
1995-2005
52,000 1925 Frankfurt, Germany
Hamburg Sea Devils HSH Nordbank Arena 2005-2007 55,989 2000 Hamburg, Germany
Rhein Fire LTU Arena 2005-2007 51,500 2004 Düsseldorf, Germany
Veltins-Arena
Arena AufSchalke (2001-2005)
2003-2004 61,524 2001 Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Rheinstadion 1995-2002 55,900 1926 Düsseldorf, Germany
Defunct Teams
Team Stadium Years Used Capacity Opened City
Barcelona Dragons
(1991-1992, 1995-2003)
Mini Estadi 2001-2003 15,276 1982 Barcelona, Spain
Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys 1991-1992, 1995-2000 56,000 1929
England Monarchs
(1998)
Crystal Palace National Sports Centre 1998 15,500 1964 London, England
Ashton Gate 1998 (one game) 21,500 1900 Bristol, England
Alexander Stadium 1998 (one game) 7,600 1976 Birmingham, England
London Monarchs
(1991-1992, 1995-1997)
Stamford Bridge 1996 (one game), 1997 42,449 1877 London, England
White Hart Lane 1995-1996 36,240 1899
Wembley Stadium
Empire Stadium
1991-1992 80,000 1923
Scottish Claymores
(1995-2004)
Hampden Park 1998-2000, 2002 (part time),
2001, 2003-2004 (full time)
52,500 1903 Glasgow, Scotland
Murrayfield Stadium 1995-1997 (full time),
1998-2000 (part-time),
one game in 2002
67,500 1925 Edinburgh, Scotland

Television coverage

Although the last version of the NFL's developmental league had no U.S. teams, American television coverage continued until the end. From 1995 to 1998, the primary TV carrier was FX, which carried two games a week, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday. From 1999 to 2004, Fox Sports Net showed a "game of the week" on Saturday, with DirecTV viewers receiving additional live games on channels that normally carried NFL Sunday Ticket. In 2005, NFL Network began showing all regular season games, either live or on tape delay, and this continued until the league folded.

From 1995 to 2005, Fox showed the World Bowl and two or three regular season games annually. In 2006 and 2007, NFL Network showed the title game.

Announcers who called NFL Europa games over the years included Curt Menefee, Nick Halling, Ari Wolfe, Troy Aikman, Daryl 'Moose' Johnston, Michael Reghi, and Brentson Buckner.

Game broadcasts were also available throughout Europe and in other territories throughout the world.

Notes and references

See also

External links


Simple English

The NFL Europa was a European American football league that ran from 1991 to 2007 under the control of the National Football League. It started off as the World League of American Football and had 3 teams in Europe, 6 in the USA and one in Canada. After 2 years the league was put on hold, so there were no 1993 or 1994 seasons. The league came back in 1995 with the 3 original European teams plus 3 new ones. In 1998 the name of the league was changed to NFL Europe and then in 2007 it became NFL Europa. After the 2007 season it was decided to stop the league.

Past World Bowl Games

Year Venue Winner Score Runner-Up MVP
June 23 2007 World Bowl XV Commerzbank-Arena, Frankfurt am Main, Germany  ?-? ? ?, ?
May 27 2006 World Bowl XIV LTU arena, Düsseldorf, Germany Frankfurt am Main Galaxy 22 - 7 Amsterdam Admirals Butchie Wallace
Galaxy, RB
June 11, 2005 World Bowl XIII LTU arena, Düsseldorf, Germany Amsterdam Admirals 27 - 21 Berlin Thunder Kurt Kittner
Admirals, QB
June 12, 2004 World Bowl XII Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen, Germany Berlin Thunder 30 - 24 Frankfurt am Main Galaxy Eric McCoo
Thunder, RB
June 14, 2003 World Bowl XI Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland Frankfurt am Main Galaxy 35 - 16 Rhein Fire Jonas Lewis
Galaxy, RB
June 22, 2002 World Bowl X Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf, Germany Berlin Thunder 26 - 20 Rhein Fire Dane Looker
Thunder, WR
June 30, 2001 World Bowl IX Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam, Netherlands Berlin Thunder 24 - 17 Barcelona Dragons Jonathan Quinn
Thunder, QB
June 25, 2000 World Bowl VIII Waldstadion, Frankfurt am Main, Germany Rhein Fire 13 - 10 Scottish Claymores Aaron Stecker
Claymores, RB
June 27, 1999 World Bowl VII Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf, Germany Frankfurt am Main Galaxy 38 - 24 Barcelona Dragons Andy McCullough
Galaxy, WR
June 14, 1998 World Bowl VI Waldstadion, Frankfurt am Main, Germany Rhein Fire 34 - 10 Frankfurt am Main Galaxy Jim Arellanes
Fire, QB
June 22, 1997 World Bowl V Estadi Olimpic, Barcelona, Spain Barcelona Dragons 38 - 24 Rhein Fire Jon Kitna
Dragons, QB
June 23, 1996 World Bowl IV Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, Scotland Scottish Claymores 32 - 27 Frankfurt am Main Galaxy Yo Murphy
Claymores, WR
June 17, 1995 World Bowl III Olympisch Stadion, Amsterdam, Netherlands Frankfurt am Main Galaxy 26 - 22 Amsterdam Admirals Paul Justin
Galaxy, QB
1994 Not Played
1993
June 6, 1992 World Bowl II Stade Olympique, Montreal, Canada Sacramento Surge (USA) 21 - 17 Orlando Thunder (USA) David Archer
Surge, QB
June 6, 1991 World Bowl I Wembley Stadium, London, England London Monarchs 21 - 0 Barcelona Dragons Dan Crossman
Monarchs, Safety
  • Note: Roman Numerals were not officially used by NFL Europa until World Bowl IX. Prior to 2001, the games were billed as World Bowl 2000, World Bowl '99 etc.


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