Monday, June 17, 2024

Colts owner Jim Irsay sees NFL division in Europe in 25 years

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Jim Irsay sees big things in the NFL’s future, like a worldwide presence.

The Indianapolis Colts owner joined the Pat McAfee Show on Monday and discussed many issues, including the potential for the Jim Irsay Collection to go to Broadway and/or Europe, his efforts to help a whale to eventually live in the ocean, and humans living on the moon and traveling to Mars.

But back on Earth, Irsay says the NFL will have a European division within 25 years. Each team would have an international and U.S. headquarters, he said.

“I don’t know if I’ll live to see it, but I hope to,” said the 64-year-old Irsay.

Irsay sees the Colts’ game against the New England Patriots in Frankfurt, Germany, on Nov. 12 as another step on that journey.

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“We wanted to be involved in the European bid and Frankfurt is great,” Irsay said. “I said (to No. 4 overall draft pick Anthony Richardson), ‘Welcome to the NFL. You go against (Patriots coach Bill) Belichick in Germany. How’s that for a rookie?'”

Irsay said the game sold out in three hours and the NFL is “very popular” in Europe.

“NFL football will be successful over there,” he said. “I see the day coming.”

Irsay said he believes the NFL will eventually have a commissioner for football and a CEO for a business/entertainment division.

“We could be so much bigger,” he said. “Our brand is one of the greatest brands in the world.”

The league’s stated goal is to have $25 billion in gross revenue in 2027, but Irsay believes the target should be $50 billion — or even more.

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