NFL’s not touching down here just yet

NFL: Despite the positive talk coming out of Queensland premier Campbell Newman's office, it seems the possibility of an NFL game coming to Brisbane is still a long way off.

Major League Baseball's Australian director Tom Nicholson recently told APN it took him 15 years to secure last month's historic Opening Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the LA Dodgers at the SCG.

And Gridiron Queensland secretary Syrina Richardson said a lengthy wait was also in store to achieve her dream of seeing NFL action come to the Sunshine State.

Richardson has been proactive in trying to gather support for the concept, after premier Newman's office wrote to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in February, inviting delegates to tour Suncorp Stadium.

She has distributed flyers and petitions at Queensland sporting events, trying to encourage sports fans to get on board with the concept. She has even tweeted NFL players - with some success.

After a fan in the US tweeted her petition to New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees (pictured), he re-tweeted: "I'd love to play a game Down Under!" But plenty of work still lies ahead.

"Will we see NFL in Brisbane this year? Heck, no. Even next year will be a long shot," Richardson said.

"I emailed Christopher Parsons (the senior vice-president of NFL International) and he said he was thrilled we want to see NFL football in Australia, but it is still going to be a while before that happens."

Richardson passed a copy of that email to APN.

It read: "We are delighted with the fan growth we are seeing in Australia and it's happening in no small part based on the efforts of you (Richardson) and others involved at the grassroots level that we are very grateful for," Parsons wrote.

"Congratulations on all the success and I wish you a long continuation of that progress. We have no plans to play in Australia as we made fairly clear to Mr Newman."

Richardson said many people were surprised to learn the game had been played in Australia for 27 years, and not only that, 56 Aussie athletes were involved in various US college programs. Player numbers in Queensland are also growing, particularly among and females (150 women are competing at senior level in Queensland), and also juniors.

Despite the hard work ahead in attracting an NFL game Down Under, Richardson said the ball was now rolling and she wasn't about to give up hope.


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