NEW YORK — The NFL will soon ends its practice of playing a handful of regular season games overseas each season due to a deal the league has cut with the incoming Donald Trump presidential administration. League commissioner Roger Goodell and a handful of prominent team owners met with the president-elect this morning at Trump Tower and emerged after the meeting saying a deal had been struck. In exchange for not playing any games in London, Mexico City or Toronto, the league will get $150 million in tax breaks — enough to cover its federal tax bill, with money to spare, over the next 10 years.
Trump officials and NFL representatives immediately trumpeted the deal as a great boon to the United States, but critics immediately excoriated the agreement.
“To say nothing of the terrible and unsustainable precedent this extends from the Carrier deal that a President Trump will pay businesses to not leave,” the New York Times wrote in an editorial, “but how is this something that would be good for America even on its face? We should be sending the Jaguars and Rams and Bills overseas to play. If we want the very best in this country, then we don’t need those teams to play here.”
The New York Times piece actually echoes comments that Trump has made in the past. For example, in 2013 he tweeted the following about the Jacksonville Jaguars:
But now all Jaguars games will be played in the United States, a fact many in the Democratic Party are hoping could flip Florida back to blue in the 2020 election.
“Making the people of Florida watch the Jaguars more will not be soon forgotten,” said a state Democratic official. “I promise you that.”