On Wednesday the NFL made a bold announcement and statement to its fan base in USA and those in the UK and Europe that the NFL is investing its time and future games in the UK and London. The NFL has partnered with the English Premier Leagues Tottenham Hotspur on a 10 year agreement. This will allow the NFL to play a minimum of 2 games per year in the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, forming a partnership with the NFL.
The state-of-the-art stadium, due to open in the summer of 2018, will feature a retractable grass field with an artificial surface underneath that would be used for NFL games. This innovative field will add greater flexibility in the scheduling of games, with the NFL having its own playing surface for games held at this venue. This field will be multi-use and capable of hosting other sporting, entertainment and community events.
Both sports will have dedicated facilities ensuring that the new stadium, designed with a focus on atmosphere, will deliver the optimum experience for both teams and fans. It will be one of the most environmentally sustainable in the UK and also include a clear focus on accessibility via public transportation.
“With growing enthusiasm for the NFL in the United Kingdom, we are committed to hosting NFL games in world-class venues and are excited to partner with Tottenham Hotspur to play games at their future stadium,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “We share a vision and commitment to creating the best experience for our teams, fans and the local community.”
The stadium is part of the Northumberland Development Project that spans more than 20 acres, sits at the heart and is the flagship scheme and catalyst for world-class regeneration in North Tottenham, delivering significant benefits for the local community.
The NFL also announced that other NFL games may take place at different venues in the UK during the span of the 10-year agreement. With just two seasons remaining with Wembley Stadium, where it has played over 11 games since 2007, the NFL is optimistic that their relationship will be continue into the future.
“We have an opportunity now to deliver one of the most unique sporting and entertainment venues in the world, bringing together the EPL and NFL for the first time,” said DANIEL LEVY, chairman of Tottenham Hotspur. “The socio-economic benefits this will bring to the area will be immense and demonstrates our commitment to the regeneration of this priority borough in London.”
“We have always underlined the importance of public sector support for the long-term regeneration of the area. This support is now clearly in evidence in the master plans that have been brought forward by the London Borough of Haringey, both through the Northumberland Park project to the east of the stadium and the High Road West scheme. These plans, alongside the commitments made by the Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority to infrastructure and public realm investment, and with the support of Central Government, demonstrate that there is now a collective public and private sector desire to deliver lasting change to the area.”
“This was an important factor for the NFL when they agreed to bring their hugely popular sport to Tottenham. I am delighted that we have succeeded in attracting them. We have a compelling and exciting partnership that will play its part as we begin transforming this area of Tottenham.”
BORIS JOHNSON, Mayor of London, welcomed the agreement.
“Anyone who has seen American Football at Wembley Stadium cannot fail to have been thrilled by the spectacle, and the wise heads that run the NFL have clearly not missed the fact that Londoners are going absolutely gangbusters for Gridiron,” Johnson said.
“We are already working very closely with the NFL, including on plans to get more Londoners involved in the sport, and we believe that building on the success of NFL at Wembley by staging more games in an area of the city that has been earmarked for a massive program of economic regeneration and investment makes perfect sense.”
“Touchdowns in Tottenham can only add to our reputation as a global sporting powerhouse, and help us take another step towards our goal of having a permanent NFL franchise here in London.”
The NFL International Series began on October 28, 2007, when the New York Giants defeated the Miami Dolphins 13-10 en route to a victory in Super Bowl XLII.
This year three regular-season games will be played at Wembley Stadium in London. Miami Dolphins (home team) vs New York Jets on October 4. Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills on October 25 and Kansas City Chiefs vs. Detroit Lions on November 1.
Prior to the International Series the UK has been playing organized American Football since the late 80’s, in which several leagues were sponsored by NFL & Coca-Cola. Then came the World League of American Football in 1991 and the last was NFL Europe. The International Series has driven NFL fan interest in the UK, with a current fan base of 13 million.
Participation in amateur football in the UK has risen since the start of the International Series by approximately 15 percent per year since 2007.
The regular-season games played at Wembley Stadium in the United Kingdom and future International Series schedule:
|Date||Visiting Team||Score||Home Team||Score|
|October 28, 2007||New York Giants||13||Miami Dolphins||10|
|October 26, 2008||San Diego Chargers||32||New Orleans Saints||37|
|October 25, 2009||New England Patriots||35||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||7|
|October 31, 2010||Denver Broncos||16||San Francisco 49ers||24|
|October 23, 2011||Chicago Bears||24||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||18|
|October 28, 2012||New England Patriots||45||St. Louis Rams||7|
|September 29, 2013||Pittsburgh Steelers||27||Minnesota Vikings||34|
|October 27, 2013||San Francisco 49ers||42||Jacksonville Jaguars||10|
|September 28, 2014||Miami Dolphins||38||Oakland Raiders||14|
|October 26, 2014||Detroit Lions||22||Atlanta Falcons||21|
|November 9, 2014||Dallas Cowboys||31||Jacksonville Jaguars||17|
|October 4, 2015||New York Jets||Miami Dolphins|
|October 25, 2015||Buffalo Bills||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|November 1, 2015||Detroit Lions||Kansas City Chiefs|
So the real question is when does London get the NFL’s game of destination, were fans will literally travel worldwide to witness the most watched sporting event in the world. UK the Super Bowl is coming soon!