Why the Super Bowl will never be played in London

Today the NFL will play a regular season game at Wembley Stadium in London for the third year in a row. This year's game is a foregone conclusion: Tom Brady's New England Patriots are going to destroy the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who haven't won yet this season.

Nevertheless, I'm excited to be there. When I started watching the NFL in the mid-1980s I would never have dreamed that a regular season game would be played in this country. As the sport grew in popularity we had a few pre-season exhibition matches in London and, for a while, we had a World League team - the London Monarchs.

I went to most of the exhibition games and a few Monarchs games. I was at the inaugural World Bowl at Wembley when the Monarchs beat the Barcelona Dragons. Still, real NFL football seemed impossible.

Even now, having been to regular season games in Baltimore, Washington DC and Jacksonville, watching the game at Wembley is still special. The NFL hopes to add a second annual UK game and if it's a success the aim is to have four games in the UK - one for each month of the season. If that plan works then perhaps, just perhaps, there could be an NFL team based in London.

Given the current rate of progress, it's likely to be at least a decade before that possibility is seriously considered. However, that doesn't stop media speculation that one day a Super Bowl - the crowning game of the NFL season - could be played in London. This season it's the turn of Richard Conway of Sky Sports to float the idea:

"Bringing the Super Bowl, the finale of the NFL season, to Britain is also an ambition..."

It's never going to happen. I'll give you two reasons why. First, have you been to London in February? It's cold, dark and damp. Only three times has the Super Bowl been played in a cold-weather city and even then, not since 1992. In the unlikely event that the NFL returns to a cold climate, it will be in a city that has a covered stadium. That roof on Wembley doesn't close, you know.

Second, the Super Bowl is a massive primetime TV event in the US. It's usually the most-viewed TV show of the year. It kicks off at 6.30pm on the east coast of the US and finishes at around 10.30pm. Matching that kick-off time at Wembley would mean starting the game at 11.30pm, local time, and finishing it at 3.30am on Monday. Even if you could find 85,000 people prepared to go to Wembley in the middle of the night, the locals, stadium staff, police and London Transport are unlikely to be enthusiastic. The latest realistic kick off time at Wembley would be around 7pm - that's two in the afternoon on the east coast and a disastrous 10am on the west coast.

I have my doubts about an NFL franchise being sited in London but a Super Bowl? That's completely unrealistic.