INDIANAPOLIS – The spread of American football across the pond took another step forward on Wednesday.
The NFL and English Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur (London) announced they will host at least two games per year, starting in 2018.
Below is a press release from the NFL detailing the announcement:
The NFL and Tottenham Hotspur today announced that they have reached agreement for a minimum of two games per year to be played during a 10-year partnership at the English Premier League team's new stadium in London. 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. Tottenham Hotspur will shortly be releasing images and details of the updated designs it has made to both the stadium and the wider scheme. In addition to the minimum of two games per year at the new Tottenham site, other NFL games may take place at different venues in the UK during the span of the 10-year agreement. The NFL has two seasons remaining on a successful arrangement with Wembley Stadium, where it has so far staged 11 games since 2007, and is optimistic that the relationship will be extended beyond 2016. "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." CLAIRE KOBER, Leader, Haringey Council, added, "It's tremendous news that the NFL wants to come to Tottenham, joining Spurs in bolstering our borough's reputation for world-class sport." "This huge vote of confidence further underlines Tottenham's future as London's next great destination, and shows real progress in our dedicated plan to bring economic growth to Haringey – with thousands of fans spending money in local businesses and creating new jobs for our residents." "In addition to bringing thousands more visitors to Tottenham, having millions of viewers from around the world tuning into live sports from the new Spurs stadium will undoubtedly put our borough on the international stage." 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. In 2015, three regular-season NFL games will be played at Wembley Stadium in London. The slate features a first-ever division game in the UK when the Miami Dolphins host the New York Jets on October 4, as well as games played on consecutive Sundays – also a first for the NFL in London – when the Jacksonville Jaguars face the Buffalo Bills on October 25, followed by the Kansas City Chiefs meeting the Detroit Lions on November 1. The International Series to date has contributed to increased NFL fan interest in the UK, with a current fan base of 13 million, including more than three million avid fans, a 50 percent increase in the past three years.
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: 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