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NFL "on track" to have a UK-based team by 2022

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This may come as a surprise.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL is "on track" to have a UK-based football team within the next six years, according to Mark Waller, the NFL's executive vice-chairman international.

According to BBC, the NFL's governing body says it "fundamentally believes" there will be a permanent franchise in the UK by 2022.

"The fan base is big enough and passionate enough that it can support a franchise," Waller said via BBC. "I felt in 2007 it was always a 15-year journey. I think we're on track to deliver that. I fundamentally believe we will deliver that."

The NFL has held 14 games at Wembley Stadium since 2007 and the Jacksonville Jaguars have played a game each season in London since 2013. Last year, the three regular-season NFL games at Wembley saw more than 83,000 fans in attendance at each game.

This fall, the Bengals will travel to London for the first time to play at Wembley against the Redskins on Sunday, October 30. Twickenham Stadium will be introduced in the fall as a new venue for NFL games in the UK as well and it will be the Giants and Rams playing the first game there. Interestingly, the Giants were the first team to play at Wembley Stadium in 2007, in a matchup with the Dolphins.

"We are in a unique position as a sport because of the way our season is structured - we only play one game a week,'' Waller said. "It's not something other American sports could do."

Logistically, regardless of playing one game a week, it would be difficult for NFL players to adjust to traveling to London on a regular basis and it could become a big disadvantage to teams making the trip back and forth from the UK to the U.S., especially for the potential team based in the UK.