Published On: Tue, Jun 3rd, 2014

Arthur Blank leads the NFL invasion of London

Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons believes that NFL teams agreeing to play one of their games in the UK capital will eventually see a NFL being formed there.

 

Arthur Blank

 

Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, is one of the leading groundbreakers in a concerted move to introduce the joys of American Rules Football to the UK, where the more conservative British are hanging on bravely to their more traditional version of the game- Rugby which has a history going back hundreds of years.  

Blank, as well some of his fellow NFL franchise owners, are beginning to see a few cracks in the resistance in the Rugby followers, and to spread the word , has even gone as far as agreeing  that that  the Atlanta Falcons should play one of their  home games in 2014 to play in London, as part of an international series.

In a recent interview Arthur Blank explained that, in his opinion, the games that will be played  in London are a tribute to the NFL as well as  a tribute to the fans in Atlanta who will be giving up on seeing their favorite team for one game, in deference to UK based disciples of  American Rules football.

Blank went on to add that he  expected fans to  turn out in their tens of thousands  to watch either the Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons or the Oakland Raiders, at the hallowed Wembley Stadium to watch the three NFL league games that are due to be staged in London  during the course of the season- with only a relatively small proportion of the fans in attendance being  expatriate Americans.

All three of the scheduled  games sold out immediately, meaning that 240, 000 were sold, leading Blank, as well as many other movers and shakers in the NFL, that the possibility of some sport entrepreneur   operating an NFL franchise in London is far away from being a figment of anyone’s imagination, and even thinking further forward a European “ American Rules” Football League, with franchises in other major European cities could also happen, although convincing NFL players to transfer there on a permanent basis will certainly represent a challenge, even to someone as determined and forward thinking as Arthur Blank.

Arthur Blank graduated from Babson College in 1963 with a degree in Business Administration and Accounting. After graduating, Blank went to work for Arthur Young and Company, where he reached the rank of senior accountant for the company.

Blanks’ career in retailing began when he joined the massive Daylin Corporation, who owned a series of retail chains throughout the United States,   going on to  head  Handy Dan Home Improvement Centers for the corporation.

In 1978, Blank left Daylin to establish Home Depot in partnership with the well known New York investment banker Ken Langone. Blank’s far reaching vision saw the group become a tremendous success, expanding rapidly throughout the US.  Blank spent a total of 23 years at Home Depot, 19 of them as the company’s president before retiring from the company in 2001 while just 61 years old.

Blank enjoys the time, the money and the energy to pursue his love of sports, which he has done the hands on way, first acquiring the franchise for his adopted hometown team, the Atlanta Falcons who play in the National Football League (NFL) in 2002, and just two years later, adding the Arena Football League franchise team Georgia Force to his collection, with his first step have moved the team back to the city of Atlanta.

Arthur. S. Blank is estimated to have a net worth of around $1.3 billion.

 

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