71Zulu
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NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:37 am

The first of two regular season NFL games is set for Sept 29 at Wembley.

The Minnesota Vikings will host the Pittsburgh Steelers and will travel to London on two Virgin Atlantic aircraft departing MSP on Monday evening, Sept 23. The aircraft should ferry into MSP sometime probably Sunday to begin loading the gear for the week long stay. Not sure what aircraft they will use. Normally it is the 747-400 but last year they sent a 346-600 to pick up the Rams in STL. After the game on Sunday evening, the Vikings will return to the hotel and depart for MSP Monday morning, Sept 30.

Not sure what airport they will use either, they have used both Gatwick and Heathrow before; last year they used Heathrow for both teams.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will leave PIT on Thursday evening, Sept 26. Only one aircraft will be needed to carry them and their gear and they are scheduled to depart for home immediately after the game on Sunday night.

We will do this all again on October 27 when the Jacksonville Jaguars host the San Francisco 49ers at Wembley.

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thomasphoto60
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:43 am

A little off topic, but just how popular is US football in the UK and Europe overall on a continent obsessed with "traditional" football (soccer)?
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mkt3000
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:03 am

Quoting thomasphoto60 (Reply 1):

Not very.
 
Iflymidwexprss
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:11 am

I would say it has a small but loyal and growing following. I live in London and have been to each of the last four NFL London games at Wembley, and they are packed. You also get a lot of people flying in from points around Europe for the game. It'll never come anywhere close to the passion for "soccer", but as a niche market it's growing by leaps and bounds- enough to expand the London series from one to two games this year.
 
ATCtower
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:15 am

Also off topic but how do they determine who hosts who when the game is 4000 miles away from either team? Who is the home team? The one who looks most like a rugby team?
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StTim
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:54 am

I am gobsmacked that a sports team requires two widebody jets to cart all their gear, players, management, support players and hangers on (oh and cheerleaders).
 
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afterburner33
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:52 am

Quoting Iflymidwexprss (Reply 3):

I would say it has a small but loyal and growing following. I live in London and have been to each of the last four NFL London games at Wembley, and they are packed. You also get a lot of people flying in from points around Europe for the game. It'll never come anywhere close to the passion for "soccer", but as a niche market it's growing by leaps and bounds- enough to expand the London series from one to two games this year.

I agree with this - I have also been to the last few games at Wembley, and I am always amazed at the number of quite hard core fans who come out for these games. They also hold quite well attended fan rallies in Trafalgar Square prior to the games. I myself always watch the Sunday evening games.

It will only ever be a minority sport here, but it does have its supporters.

Quoting ATCtower (Reply 4):

Also off topic but how do they determine who hosts who when the game is 4000 miles away from either team? Who is the home team? The one who looks most like a rugby team?

Usually the organisation which runs the games here negotiates with one of the NFL franchises who are willing to give up one of their home games and agree to play at Wembley. They then become the home team. In recent years these have typically (but not always) been teams who are not doing very well and who are struggling to fill their stadiums - these teams can get an income boost by playing at Wembley which has a capacity of 85,000 and which is normally full for NFL games. The Jacksonville Jaguars h ave signed a deal to play a home game at Wembley every year until 2016.
 
BSRadar
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:52 am

I was at the first of these US footie games at Wembley (Minneapolis Vikings v. St Louis Cardinals in 1981(?) - I have the programme, somewhere. World Airways provided the flights (indeed, I think they were the main sponsor) - by DC-10. I was a curious local, and my unscientific guess then was that the crowd was probably 2:1 or more in favour of US ex-pats, many of whom had travelled in from various European locations. The game was getting a fairly aggressive Channel 4 push at the time which was maintained for a few years. TV coverage has been spasmodic since then, but has continued as there is a small but devoted following. The UK has a fairly catholic appreciation of sport, and US footie has a following with the natives pretty much akin to basketball, ice hockey - all claiming to be on the verge of a breakthrough, but never actually achieve it. The truth is that living in the UK you can go months on end without actually hearing a mention of any of these sports. Soccer is the opium for most of the UK population, and other team sports, cricket, rugby (both RU & RL), field hockey will be seen on the playing fields by the visitor. Hurling is a sport which is establishing itself, which is not surprising given the numbers of Irish in the UK. FWIW, having lived in other parts of the UK I have never "stumbled" across a game of US footie being played since back then. As a spectator event the Wembley games would be non-starters without the US ex-pats.
 
steeler83
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:50 pm

Go figure...

The Pittsburgh Steelers finally get to go to Europe, and they look like shit (pardon my French).  

The Vikings will chew them up...
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MillwallSean
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:24 pm

Virgin probably does this to gain more brand awareness in the US. There is little to gain from doing it thinking of the UK market.

Of the US sports, American football and Baseball are virtually non existant in Europe. American expats, military etc made up over 50% of the people at the only Wembley game i have taken in. The rest were mostly curious people like me.
As said above, American football might get a few mentions when its Superbowl time, like 20 seconds on the sports roundup. But I have never seen anyone play American football in the UK or seen a real fan nor have I seen an American football game shown live in a pub. American football might exist but its an extremelly marginalised sport and i doubt it could even be called a niche.
Same goes for baseball.

I guess they want to build a more international footprint but doing it in Europe is a hard sell. Id say it would require changes to the game itself, stopping the endless breaks and reducing times between play. I wish them luck though.

Basketball has it following all over Europe and especially in Southern Europe. Icehockey is large in parts of Northern Europe.
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JetBlue1058
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:38 am

sorry,
but do you have any more info on the PIT charter?
Would love to spot it!!!!
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chrisnh
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:17 am

Quoting StTim (Reply 5):
I am gobsmacked that a sports team requires two widebody jets to cart all their gear, players, management, support players and hangers on (oh and cheerleaders).

No less 'gobsmacked' than we are when 'soccer' teams and F1 teams jet around with equal (or more) extravagance.
 
tjh8402
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:43 am

Quoting chrisnh (Reply 11):
No less 'gobsmacked' than we are when 'soccer' teams and F1 teams jet around with equal (or more) extravagance.

I can't speak for soccer, but Formula 1 teams don't charter A330's or 747's to fly themselves around.
 
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SRQKEF
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:51 am

Quoting chrisnh (Reply 11):

Football teams (or soccer as you call it) usually only need a BBJ at most. It are the fans that charter the widebody jets.

Not sure with F1 teams, but I think them chartering large jets is understandable considering they're moving cars. Still, I think they use narrowbodies. Don't quote me on that though.

I would say the only "American" sport which is popular in Europe is basketball and the NBA. At least in Iceland that's the case.

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chrisnh
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:56 am

Quoting tjh8402 (Reply 12):
Formula 1 teams don't charter A330's or 747's to fly themselves around.

Well, the cars don't walk to their races...check and see the planes that flew into Montreal for the F1 race there...as but one example. And while the cars are on CargoLux 747s, the teams are on G5s or similar. 'Extravagance' comes in big and small sizes.

And AirEuropa flew a 777 into Boston just last week carrying a rather inconsequential 'soccer' team for a rather inconsequential 'friendly.'
 
steeler83
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:02 am

Quoting jetblue1058 (Reply 10):
sorry,
but do you have any more info on the PIT charter?
Would love to spot it!!!!

I'd like to know this as well...

If I had to guess -- I'd say a FX MD11 since they'd likely be hauling manure...

Yeah, I know. I'm mean. :P

Ok, now in all seriousness. I wonder if US would still deploy a 757 for this city pair...
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tjh8402
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:32 am

Quoting chrisnh (Reply 14):
Well, the cars don't walk to their races...check and see the planes that flew into Montreal for the F1 race there...as but one example. And while the cars are on CargoLux 747s, the teams are on G5s or similar. 'Extravagance' comes in big and small sizes.

Its apples and oranges. I don't see why you would be gobsmacked by the "extravagance" of an international motorsports series needing to transport cars and car parts. Guess what, NFL team owners love their Gulfstreams just as much as F1 team owners do. Any single grand prix will look more extravagant by virtue of the fact that the entire sport is in one location, not spread out all over a continent like the NFL on any given weekend. To my knowledge, no single F1 team needs a widebody jet to transport their personnel to a race.
 
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:06 am

Quoting jetblue1058 (Reply 10):

sorry,
but do you have any more info on the PIT charter?
Would love to spot it!!!!

US is sending a 767 to LGW on the 26th returning the next day.

[Edited 2013-09-20 22:07:34]
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nkops
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:43 pm

Of all teams to go.... the Jags, seriously??
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:57 pm

Quoting nkops (Reply 18):
Of all teams to go.... the Jags, seriously?

Yes, if you had read the other post that explains that it is a team that is not doing well generally at home in terms of attendance because to a home team to lose an eighth of their gate and ancillary revenues surrounding the game, there are not that many teams that would give that up.
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71Zulu
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:57 pm

Quoting jetblue1058 (Reply 10):
sorry,
but do you have any more info on the PIT charter?
Would love to spot it!!!!

Wish I could find some info, all I can say is watch this link late 25th or early on the 26th for a VS 744 or 346 ferrying to PIT
http://flightaware.com/live/findflight/ZLN/KPIT/
I think they will depart PIT approx. 7:00pm Thursday evening.
Can't really find any information on this, mostly going on past procedure.


Quoting wn676 (Reply 17):
US is sending a 767 to LGW on the 26th returning the next day.

That must be an extra aircraft for the wives and other staff or friends. The Steelers will be flying VS. The Saints did something similar when they went, the team flew over on a NW 742 then a few days later a DL 763 brought the wives and others, then they all flew back together on the 742.
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pliersinsight
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:20 pm

Quoting StTim (Reply 5):

I am gobsmacked that a sports team requires two widebody jets to cart all their gear, players, management, support players and hangers on (oh and cheerleaders).

The Pittsburgh Steelers do not have cheerleaders.
 
steeler83
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:46 pm

Quoting pliersinsight (Reply 21):
The Pittsburgh Steelers do not have cheerleaders.

Yeah they do actually. Apparently new this year. Why else would they be 0-2?    

So if I'm look at this right, the team is taking either a VS 747 or an A346 while the family members fly a US 767. Interesting...

Didn't the Steelers go to Tokyo some 20 years ago on a JAL 742?
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71Zulu
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:38 pm

The Vikings team VS aircraft is ferrying enroute now to MSP.

Doesn't show an aircraft type however just yet, guess FA will pick that up when it gets a little closer.

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/V...3/history/20130923/1018Z/EGLL/KMSP

Due in about 1:00pm or so MSP local time.

http://min.scout.com/2/1307114.html

This says the Vikes will fly over today on two VS aircraft but I'm wondering if they will just use the one plane today and then take a DL 763 over later in the week (usually Thursday) for the wives and rest of staff.

DAL 8867

[Edited 2013-09-23 05:42:03]
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msp747
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:42 pm

It's more than just the players flying over for this. I know the Vikings decided to go all out for the occasion, and are taking just about the entire organization with them on this trip. That includes a lot of staff members who work at the team's headquarters. Not sure if their families are coming too, but I imagine some employees are bringing families with. Still surprised that they need 2 A346's for this, but maybe they are limiting one just to the players, coaching staff, and the usual group that travels to road games here in the states.

Quoting afterburner33 (Reply 6):
In recent years these have typically (but not always) been teams who are not doing very well and who are struggling to fill their stadiums - these teams can get an income boost by playing at Wembley which has a capacity of 85,000 and which is normally full for NFL games.

Attendance may be a factor with the Jags, but it's not why the Vikings agreed to be the "home" team this time around. They do play in one of the league's lower money making stadiums, so it was probably a chance to 'cash in' ahead of their new stadium being built. My guess is they might agree to it again over the next 2 years while their fancy new building is constructed. Once it's open though, I doubt they'd give up the home game to do it.
 
GCT64
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:03 pm

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 23):

Doesn't show an aircraft type however just yet, guess FA will pick that up when it gets a little closer.
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/V...3/history/20130923/1018Z/EGLL/KMSP
Due in about 1:00pm or so MSP local time.

Looks to be G-VFIZ A346 as VIR963P
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BoeingMerica
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:41 pm

Quoting steeler83 (Reply 8):

Both are winless teams, and you think the Vikings will chew them up? Christian Ponder plays week in and week out like a division III college team backup water boy/ team manager. You can't win in the NFL w/o a quality QB, even with a fantastic future HOF RB, and the Vikings are proof of this.
Steelers have some quality parts, just a terrible and injury prone offensive line. But the talent is there. Vikes win.

Normally, only the worst of the worst teams go there. And Jax is proof of that, it seems so dumb. There has been obsessive offseason talk of London expansion, including the logistics of an expansion team based there. If you want to grow the NFL marketing machine, WHY WHY WHY send your crappiest teams to be showcased there? Makes no sense.

Oh, this isn't a NFL discussion board? I'll show myself out...

Edit:
Also, I don't think the two wide bodies is correct. Here is flight aware of one charter. A346 on its way currently.
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/V...3/history/20130923/1018Z/EGLL/KMSP


BoeingMerica

[Edited 2013-09-23 07:49:46]
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highflier92660
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:16 pm

The only mildly interesting aspect of this NFL game is the type of A/C Virgin Atlantic will be using, the routing, altitudes and the enroute times.

Every year recently, the National Football League matches a sacrificial lamb against an historic powerhouse and this year it's the Jacksonville Jaguars. The other universal constant is in the "Battle of the National Anthems" where we Americans always offer up some Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist to sing against Katherine Jenkins. Invariably it ends up a one-sided slaughter when Francis Scott Key's words are screeched-out like a Zulu war chant while Jenkins sings God Save The Queen like Puccini in a full-figure enhancing gown.

I return you to our favorite subjects- aircraft and airlines.

  
 
71Zulu
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:02 pm


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I got the two VS planes idea from this:
http://min.scout.com/2/1307114.html
but I'm now thinking it will work the way the other London charters have worked, one Virgin aircraft for the team only (in this case a 346), then on Thursday a second aircraft will depart carrying the player's wives (no kids) and other staff. DL normally flies the Vikes so guessing it will be a 763 and use their normal flight number, 8867. The VS team plane I would bet will look like a normal away game and will not be packed with all kinds of other distractions, the Vikes at 0-3 desperately need to win this game and the coaches try to keep these trips as normal as possible. Hoping for a good game!
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steeler83
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:41 pm

Wow, that's this week already. For some reason I thought it was later in the season. Well, should be interesting to see what lands at PIT
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mikesairways
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:51 pm

Any charter info on the 49ers? Will they be out of SJC or SFO?
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:53 pm

Quoting brilondon (Reply 19):
Yes, if you had read the other post that explains that it is a team that is not doing well generally at home in terms of attendance because to a home team to lose an eighth of their gate and ancillary revenues surrounding the game, there are not that many teams that would give that up.

Which is the reason why the NFL owners can be as silly as anyone else.
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:55 pm

Quoting srqkef (Reply 13):

Football teams (or soccer as you call it) usually only need a BBJ at most. It are the fans that charter the widebody jets.

Soccer players are slender. They only need one seat.

Quoting StTim (Reply 5):
I am gobsmacked that a sports team requires two widebody jets to cart all their gear, players, management, support players and hangers on (oh and cheerleaders).

Have you seen how humongous NFL players are? They do not fit in single economy seats. Usually charters at a minimum have 3 seats for 2 people, and on a flight that long, might have even lower seating density. 300 pound linebackers don’t fit in economy seats particularly well. A typical domestic charter is a 757-300 or 767.

Also, it is a 53 man roster, which is large for a sports team in addition to all the coaches, management and guests.
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:27 pm

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 32):
Also, it is a 53 man roster, which is large for a sports team in addition to all the coaches, management and guests.

One can also look at the equipment - pads for example - and how much training equipment must be available to ensure that on the day of the game the players bodies are in shape, much simpler to travel a day or two before the game if jet lag going over is not a problem, one would only need game time equipment.
 
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:41 pm

Quoting thomasphoto60 (Reply 1):
A little off topic, but just how popular is US football in the UK and Europe overall on a continent obsessed with "traditional" football (soccer)?

Popular enough to sell out both Wembley games inside the first few days.

Popular enough for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings ownership to think they could make more money on a game in London over an 8th home game in JAX or MIN.

Having said that, I understand that the UK Cincinnati Bengals fan club AGM this year is being held in a phone booth just off Westway ........  
 
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:52 pm

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 9):
Virgin probably does this to gain more brand awareness in the US. There is little to gain from doing it thinking of the UK market.

SRB is good buddies with Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, and probably got the inside line on the deal. He has been seen a number of times at Foxboro' as a 'guest' of the Krafts.

What puzzles me is how VS operates these charters profitably, as the PIT business is naturally 'American' ended. Does VS fly out/back empty to the US to 'position' the a/c ? (I realise MIN are staying all week in London, but PIT are just literally flying in for a couple of days)
 
71Zulu
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:19 pm

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/V...3/history/20130923/2355Z/KMSP/EGKK

Going to Gatwick


Quoting mikesairways (Reply 30):
Any charter info on the 49ers? Will they be out of SJC or SFO?

49ers will be the "visitors" for that game so they should leave Thursday evening, October 24 and I would guess will use SFO due to runway operational requirements. They might also take their normal DL 763 and guess it would leave from SFO as well.

Quoting SelseyBill (Reply 35):
What puzzles me is how VS operates these charters profitably, as the PIT business is naturally 'American' ended.

VS is contracted to the NFL so I'm sure the costs are covered and the profit is known. This has nothing to do with PIT per se as a VS destination, it is strictly a charter and those are usually well paying. Maybe there is some concession since VS is also a sponsor but gotta believe they do alright on these charters.

Quoting SelseyBill (Reply 35):
Does VS fly out/back empty to the US to 'position' the a/c ?

Yes they do.
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SelseyBill
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:47 pm

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 36):
VS is contracted to the NFL so I'm sure the costs are covered and the profit is known. This has nothing to do with PIT per se as a VS destination, it is strictly a charter and those are usually well paying. Maybe there is some concession since VS is also a sponsor but gotta believe they do alright on these charters.

Thanx for the reply '71Zulu'

Still puzzling how a British company could out-bid a US company for this 'American ended' work. Must be an inventive 'marketing' package. Obviously tickets for the VIP lounge at Foxboro are more expensive than I thought !!!!!
 
mikesairways
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:09 am

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 36):
49ers will be the "visitors" for that game so they should leave Thursday evening, October 24 and I would guess will use SFO due to runway operational requirements. They might also take their normal DL 763 and guess it would leave from SFO as well.

SJC has no runway operational requirements. They took DL 744 from SJC-MSY last year for Superbowl.
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MKENut
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:26 am

Quoting thomasphoto60 (Reply 1):
A little off topic, but just how popular is US football in the UK and Europe overall on a continent obsessed with "traditional" football (soccer)?

I think it's curiosity more than anything. I had no interest in hockey for the longest time until a co-worker invited me to watch a Hawks game. As a Wisconsinite I am allowed to follow an NHL Team from Chicago because we don't have an NHL Team of our own.   I read a story a few years back where some Brits were even celebrating American Thanksgiving Day. Not sure if that holiday ever caught on, but I find it fascinating.
 
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:46 am

Quoting mikesairways (Reply 38):
SJC has no runway operational requirements.

I didn't realize the runways at SJC were 11,000 feet, so no worries there, should be able to make it to LGW no problem.

Quoting mikesairways (Reply 38):
They took DL 744 from SJC-MSY last year for Superbowl.

I saw it land.   
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as739x
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:58 am

Quoting 71Zulu (Reply 36):
49ers will be the "visitors" for that game so they should leave Thursday evening, October 24 and I would guess will use SFO due to runway operational requirements. They might also take their normal DL 763 and guess it would leave from SFO as well.

VS operates all the charters for these game. The 49ers will leave most likely from SFO purely due to VS already having operations here.
"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
 
71Zulu
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:21 am

Quoting as739x (Reply 41):
VS operates all the charters for these game.

Yes VS flies the teams, I meant an additional aircraft like the Steelers will be doing Thursday (US 762) and the Saints did when they went, they took their regular plane along too in addition to the VS plane.
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71Zulu
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:19 pm

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71Zulu
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:52 pm

Looks like the Vikings used a North American 763 as their second aircraft to London, left last night at 10pm

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/N...0/history/20130926/0300Z/KMSP/EGKK



The two Steeler's flights, VS 346 and a US 762

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/V...5/history/20130926/2330Z/KPIT/EGKK

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/A...8/history/20130926/2100Z/KPIT/EGKK
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WALmsp
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:49 pm

Quoting Highflier92660 (Reply 27):
The other universal constant is in the "Battle of the National Anthems" where we Americans always offer up some Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist to sing against Katherine Jenkins. Invariably it ends up a one-sided slaughter when Francis Scott Key's words are screeched-out like a Zulu war chant while Jenkins sings God Save The Queen like Puccini in a full-figure enhancing gown.

Agreed. Just sing the anthem; it's not supposed to be a "listen to my trills and high notes" moment. Of course, considering the futility of my Vikings this year, the anthems may be the high point of the game.

At least I still have airplanes...
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CargoIT
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:49 pm

Rumor has it that Minnesota based arena rock band Hairball traveled to London with the Vikings.
 
777STL
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:30 pm

Quoting StTim (Reply 5):
I am gobsmacked that a sports team requires two widebody jets to cart all their gear, players, management, support players and hangers on (oh and cheerleaders).

One plane is for the team, the other is probably for front office team staff and families, and maybe a few season ticket holders as well.

Quoting BoeingMerica (Reply 26):
If you want to grow the NFL marketing machine, WHY WHY WHY send your crappiest teams to be showcased there? Makes no sense.

It's ultimately up to the teams to decide whether they want to go or not. A typical NFL week is busy enough let alone with the added pain in the ass of flying 3000+ miles away and dealing with the associated jet lag. If I were a team in contention, I wouldn't want to deal with the hassle either.

It hasn't just been crap teams either. Somewhat ironically, the Patriots have gone several times as well.

Quoting roseflyer (Reply 32):
Have you seen how humongous NFL players are? They do not fit in single economy seats. Usually charters at a minimum have 3 seats for 2 people, and on a flight that long, might have even lower seating density. 300 pound linebackers don’t fit in economy seats particularly well. A typical domestic charter is a 757-300 or 767.

I don't think there's a 300 lb LB in the entire NFL. Most of them are in the 250ish lb range. The number of players that couldn't fit in one seat is rather small. Mostly linemen on both sides of the ball. I'd venture to guess most of them sit in the premium class seats anyway, at least the starters.

Quoting SelseyBill (Reply 37):
Still puzzling how a British company could out-bid a US company for this 'American ended' work. Must be an inventive 'marketing' package. Obviously tickets for the VIP lounge at Foxboro are more expensive than I thought !!!!!

It is curious, but I'm sure the NFL is covering their losses.
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msp747
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:34 pm

Quoting BoeingMerica (Reply 26):
If you want to grow the NFL marketing machine, WHY WHY WHY send your crappiest teams to be showcased there? Makes no sense.

The schedule is released long before the season begins. How was the NFL supposed to know both of these teams would be terrible this year? The Vikings were a playoff team last year and have the game's best running back on their roster (and the league's MVP last year). The Steelers missed the playoffs last year, but have been one of the league's power teams for well over a decade. As long as the NFL has such parody, this is what you risk.

Quoting 777STL (Reply 47):

I don't think there's a 300 lb LB in the entire NFL. Most of them are in the 250ish lb range. The number of players that couldn't fit in one seat is rather small. Mostly linemen on both sides of the ball. I'd venture to guess most of them sit in the premium class seats anyway, at least the starters.

Everything I've ever read in the past is that the coaching staff sits up front, while the players each get 2 or 3 coach seats all to themselves. However, that was always for domestic flights. Not sure if they modify things for international travel
 
evomutant
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RE: NFL London Charters - Wembley Stadium Sept 29

Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:13 pm

The MLB CBA has a whole section devoted to transport. It's online. I imagine the NFL one is similar.

The MLB one mandates two seats per player if they are in coach.