NFL International Games

NFL International Games

The core fanbase of American Football is undoubtedly in its home market of America, followed up by its close neighbour Canada. However, with the dawn of the internet age and all of the subsequent advances in technology, the game is now growing in popularity across the world. With satellite TV broadcast 24/7, copious amounts of information online, and social media accounts the NFL has never had a louder voice.

To help nurture this growth the league decided the best way to reach new fans was to play a regular season game out of North America. In 2007 London was chosen to host the first ever NFL international game, which took place at Wembley stadium. On October 28th 2007 the very first game to be held outside the United States saw the Miami Dolphins host the New York Jets and the birth of NFL london games.

That first NFL wembley fixture played in London was well very attended and the league saw the opportunity to grow its fanbase in new territories. With insights from the NFL Europe shop, league officials could determine which teams and players were well followed. London, with its number of airports and excellent infrastructure, was seen as an easily accessible city for fans from Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark. It was clear that NFL Europe fans keen to witness a game first hand. As the largest stadium in the UK, Wembley was well equipped to handle the influx of fans and able to offer hospitality packages. NFL London tickets were offered in a variety of different prices and packages to suit all types of budgets.

From starting off with an initial one game a year from 2007-2011, the league decided to increase the number of games in 2012-2015. Supply was not keeping up with demand and as such London hosted 3 regular season games a year at Wembley stadium during this four year period of growth. NFL London schedule would be announced many months in advance to ensure those wishing to attend had plenty of time to plan. NFL International Series Tickets were sold online and very popular with both local fans in the UK and also those looking to travel to watch American Football in London.

With demand for games increasing further still, in 2016 the NFL increased the number of games to 4. However the additional game took place in Mexico City together with the 3 slated games at Wembley. With 3 games in a major European city and a new matchup in Latin America the league was building the momentum it wanted. This opened up another huge potential market in the Spanish speaking sports mad country and the game between the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans was tightly contested.

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The NFL London games in 2017 saw a total of 4 regular season matchups, all taking place in London. But for the first time, there was a new stadium which was selected to host two of the game. Two American football Twickenham games would take place alongside two games at Wembley. The NFL Twickenham tickets went on sale at the same time as the NFL Wembley tickets and both sold out very quickly. The game between Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley in 2017 currently holds the highest attendance record of 84,592. The Cleveland Browns lost their first International game against the Minnesota Vikings the same year at Twickenham stadium.

Fans across the world were jumping at the opportunity to witness the NFL’s many star players in the flesh. The league quickly created a special type of ticket which then granted access to all of the games taking place that year at Wembley. The NFL Wembley season ticket was sold online and many people were keen to watch as many games as possible. Wembley season ticket holders are guaranteed the same seat for all games and can look forward to a number of great games a year.

The National Football League ensures that its top teams take part in the NFL International Games by including a clause in teams looking to host a super bowl. Any team that successfully applies to host a Superbowl agree to scheduling a game abroad as part of the proposal. The revenue that a team will lose from hosting one game less at home in a season, is offset by the riches the team will make by hosting the showcase game. The team can also expect to see an increase in their sales on the NFL shop as new fans become affiliated with the team.

Details of the 3 London games and 1 game in Mexico can be found below. This years matches include some top quality teams and players. The reigning super bowl champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, will be taking on the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were one game from making the Superbowl themselves last season. The Seahawks and Raiders both have aspirations to make the playoffs this season and will be hoping to win their matchup. Sandwiched between those two ties sees the Titans play the Chargers on Oct 21. The 2018 International series NFL wembley kick off times is as below;

October 14th – Seattle Seahawks vs Oakland Raiders – Wembley Stadium – 6pm
October 21st – Tennessee Titans vs Los Angeles Chargers – Wembley Stadium – 2.30pm
October 28th – Philadelphia Eagles vs Jacksonville Jaguars – Wembley Stadium – 1.30pm
November 19th – Kansas City Chiefs vs Los Angeles Rams – Azteca Stadium – 8.15pm