Sadiq Khan pledges to bring major sporting events to London if re-elected

credit: Shutterstock
credit: Shutterstock

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has stated that if he is re-elected in next week’s election, he pledges to bring some major North American sporting events to the UK capital. 

Khan in particular highlighted bringing the NFL’s Super Bowl and WWE’s WrestleMania to London as part of his continued push to make the city the “sporting capital of the world”. 

Amongst other sporting events Khan intends to host in London, the Mayor also has an eye on bringing NBA regular season games over from across the Atlantic, as well as a potential new bid to host another Olympic Games, after previously hosting in 2012. 

Khan stated on X: “London is already the sporting capital of the world. If I’m re-elected next Thursday – we’ll go even further. 

“We’ll look to bring WrestleMania, Super Bowl and the NBA to London, and put together another bid for the 2040 Olympics.”

Between WrestleMania and the Super Bowl, the former appears to become more of a reality after the WWE have been venturing outside the US to host Premium Live Events in a variety of countries. 

Since 2022, the WWE have hosted two PLE’s in the UK, Cardiff and London, and are set to return to the country to host another in Glasgow this June. 

WrestleMania is the WWE’s biggest event of the year, akin to the NFL’s Super Bowl, which has become a two night event since 2020. This has enabled the WWE to bring in more gate revenue and maximise sponsorship and commercial opportunities, with its most recent edition, WrestleMania XL, breaking records across the board. 

If WWE’s flagship event were to be held in London, Wembley Stadium would be the most ideal location. 

However, WWE officials will have to take into consideration weather – as WrestleMania is annually scheduled in April – as Wembley has no roof, and more importantly, time zone differences to appease its leading US audience. No WrestleMania in its 40-year history has ever been held outside of the US. 

Reflecting on a potential London Super Bowl, the NFL has been rampantly bolstering its internationalisation programme by hosting more regular season games in different countries over the last several years. 

Since 2007, London has been one of the most reliable and trusted markets to host NFL games at Wembley Stadium and more recently, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with the UK growing its NFL fan base year upon year. 

Similar to the WWE however, no Super Bowl has ever been held outside of the US and this is in large part due to appeasing the prime time TV slot it occupies for its primary audience.

What is a more likely proposition from Khan if re-elected as London Mayor is bringing more NBA games to the capital. London has held regular season games in the past, however, the last game held in London was between the New York Knicks and Washington Wizards in 2019 at the O2 Arena.

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