Over the last few years, American sports leagues have done quite a bit to establish a market around the world instead of just in the United States. In the NBA, David Stern has made no secret of his desire to have an NBA team in Europe, the NFL has played regular season games in London the last two seasons, and MLB has it’s World Baseball Classic while toying with the idea of starting a franchise in Mexico City. The globalization of American sports leagues seems to be inevitable, but at the same time it’s always felt as though it was still a ways away. Well, apparently it may not be as far off as we think.
Tim Leiweke runs the entertainment company AEG, which is basically England’s answer to what Disney is in America: A company that was founded as an entertainment company that has branched into sports. In America Disney owns ESPN, and in London AEG owns sports franchises like the L.A. Galaxy and over 100 multi-purpose venues across the world. According to Leiweke, one of the major American sports leagues is going to have a team in London by 2011.