NFL chief confirms interest in bringing American football to West Ham's Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium 2

The vice president of America's NFL has confirmed he is exploring the possibility of bringing the sport to West Ham United's new Olympic Stadium home.

Mark Waller was speaking to Sky Sports in the wake of another successful international showcase for the NFL at Wembley Stadium which saw an 84,000 sell-out crowd watch the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Buffalo Bills.

The success of the international matches means the NFL will continue for the long term in the UK after a deal was agreed to host least two a season at Wembley until 2020.

Another agreement has been struck for two matches a year at Tottenham Hotspur's new 61,000 seater stadium from 2018.

A minimum of four fixtures a year in London is seen as a precursor to a long-term home for a franchise in what is sport's richest league.

'Olympic Park is a great venue'

And when quizzed about what the future holds for the sport in the UK, a coy Waller reluctantly revealed West Ham's new 54,000 seater stadium - which recently wowed the crowds when hosting Rugby World Cup matches - is one of the venues the NFL is keenly perusing.

"We are constantly looking at the opportunity to add in venues," Waller told Sky Sports.

"One of the things that is important to us is that if you share somebody else's stadium you are obviously subject to their need as well.

"We want to play more games, so the ability to have options and stadiums in and around London is hugely important so we'll keep looking at others."

When pressed to be specific, Waller reluctantly added: "Well I think you know some of the great stadiums in London.

"Twickenham is a great venue, the Olympic Park is a great venue so we'll definitely be keeping our eye open and see who is interested in having us."

Hammers have little say

Unlike Tottenham Hotspur, who have chosen to seek out the extra revenue generated by hosting the NFL matches, the Hammers would have very little say if NFL did come to their ground.

The London Legacy Development Commitie is under pressure to maximise revenue after taxpayers' money was used to fund the stadium and the majority of its redevelopment to transform it into a home fit for a Premier League football team.

The Hammers are only anchor tenants and have the stadium under their control for around 25 days in the year, dependent on participation in European competition, leaving the LLDC 340 days with which to generate extra income.

Would West Ham fans embrace an NFL share?

Then there are issues with the pitch, while the odd NFL game is not going to dramatically worsen the condition of the pitch, would Hammers fans be happy to share their new home with another sport?

Or perhaps it is a partnership fans would find exciting as the Rugby World Cup has proved he stadium is a stunning arena and more work will be carried out between now and next season to improve it further still.

How Tottenham fans feel about sharing their ground with American football teams initially a few times a year is also up for debate.

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