Packers game in London unlikely for 2016

Ryan Wood
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The Green Bay Packers still have a London game high on their wish list, but it may be unlikely.

Green Bay Packers President Mark Murphy speaks to the media about the legacy of Brett Favre before Favre's Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Induction Banquet at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. on Saturday, July 18, 2015. Kyle Bursaw/Press-Gazette Media/@kbursaw

The problem, Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy told shareholders Tuesday, is opponents realize how well Packers fans travel to away games. Owners around the league are hesitant to give up a home game, especially if they know it's an almost guaranteed sellout.

And as much as the Packers want to play overseas, they're unwilling to relinquish a home game because of the economic impact it would have on the NFL's smallest market.

"I hope it happens," Murphy said. "I think it would be good for the organization, in terms of our fan base, and I know it's on Aaron Rodgers' bucket list. Anytime we can help Aaron achieve his bucket list, that would be good."

In the future, Murphy said, he expects "more and more" games hosted in London. The league has moved three games there for 2015: Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets on Oct. 4, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills on Oct. 25, and Kansas City Chiefs vs. Detroit Lions on Nov. 1.

The extra opportunities could increase the Packers chances of playing overseas. Still, they'll need to find a team willing to turn down a significant attendance boost.

Murphy said the NFL could also force teams to play in London by establishing certain criteria. One condition, he said, could be for teams wanting to host a Super Bowl to also play a home game in London. It may be the only chance the Packers get to play in London.

"The good example I mentioned a couple of years ago," Murphy said, "we played at St. Louis. The league thought that would be a good opportunity for us to play in London, but St. Louis said the way the Packers fans travel, the Rams looked at it and said, 'We wouldn't want to give what's a guaranteed sellout at home.'"

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