By holding regular-season games in London, England, the National Football League (NFL) has increased its global presence over time.
These international games give football fans from all over the world the chance to see up close the thrilling action of the NFL.
This article will look at the background of NFL games played in London as well as the numerous teams that have taken part in these illustrious occasions.
- 1 When Did The NFL Start Playing Games In London?
- 2 How Many NFL Games Have Been Held In London To Date?
- 3 Which NFL Teams Have Participated In Games Held In London?
- 4 Where Were The NFL London Games Held?
- 5 How Were The Matchups Decided?
- 6 What effect did the NFL London Games have on the league and its following?
When Did The NFL Start Playing Games In London?
The NFL’s foray into the international market began on October 28, 2007, when the first regular-season match was played in London.
At the recently built Wembley Stadium, the Miami Dolphins took on the New York Giants.
The contest was a major turning point for the league because it was the first time an NFL game was played outside of North America.
How Many NFL Games Have Been Held In London To Date?
On October 28, 2007, at a game between the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins at London’s Wembley Stadium, the NFL introduced the International Series.
The Giants triumphed 13-10, winning their third Super Bowl championship as a team.
Moreover, Wembley Stadium played host to one NFL regular-season game each season from 2007 through 2012.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the suspension of the International Series in 2020, but it was reinstated in 2021 with two matches played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The NFL has played 35 regular season games in London and four in Mexico City as of the 2022 season.
Which NFL Teams Have Participated In Games Held In London?
Many NFL teams have had the opportunity to compete in London. The most well-known teams competing in these international competitions include:
- Jacksonville Jaguars:
The NFL’s foray into London was particularly pioneered by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Since 2013, the team has played regularly in London, making it the first NFL team to sign a multi-year contract to play several home games in the UK.
With this relocation, the Jaguars hoped to establish a sizable following in the UK and across the Atlantic.
- Miami Dolphins:
In 2007, the Miami Dolphins became the first NFL club to play a regular-season game in London, beginning the league’s journey into international competition.
- Los Angeles Rams:
The Los Angeles Rams have also taken part in sporting events in London. In 2012, they made their debut and played the New England Patriots.
- Atlanta Falcons:
In 2014, the Atlanta Falcons played in London’s NFL International Series for the first time, taking on the Detroit Lions.
- New York Giants:
As was previously established, the New York Giants faced the Miami Dolphins in the first London game in 2007.
As was already mentioned, the first NFL London Game pitted the New York Giants against the Miami Dolphins.
Their participation in this contest demonstrated the league’s dedication to bringing prestigious teams to London.
- Dallas Cowboys:
In 2014, the Dallas Cowboys faced the Jacksonville Jaguars in London for the first time, garnering a lot of interest from fans around the world.
- New England Patriots:
In the 2012 NFL London Game, the St. Louis Rams faced up against the New England Patriots, who were coached by Tom Brady.
The Patriots, who are renowned for their success and devoted following, significantly increased awareness of the occasion.
- Oakland Raiders:
In 2014, the Miami Dolphins were the opponent for the Oakland Raiders (now Las Vegas Raiders) inaugural game in London.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made their international debut in London in 2011 when they took on the Chicago Bears.
- J. Chicago Bears:
In addition to their game against the Buccaneers, the Chicago Bears also participated in other games in London, demonstrating their skill on a global scale.
Where Were The NFL London Games Held?
Wembley Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, two renowned locations in London, have hosted the majority of the NFL London Games.
Given its capability for huge crowds and long history of holding important athletic events, Wembley Stadium, which has a capacity of over 80,000, has hosted the majority of the games.
Since its debut in 2019, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which can hold about 62,000 people, has also gained popularity for hosting NFL games and provides players and spectators with cutting-edge amenities.
How Were The Matchups Decided?
The NFL’s scheduling procedure for the London Games required great thought and preparation.
The league aspired to present a broad range of clubs and matchups that would pique the interest of both devoted followers and casual spectators.
Fans on both sides of the Atlantic were thrilled and anticipating when the clubs selected to play in London were routinely announced ahead of the release of the regular-season schedule.
What effect did the NFL London Games have on the league and its following?
The NFL London Games have significantly impacted the league and its appeal on a global scale:
- Increasing Fan Base Abroad:
The NFL was able to expand its global fan base and reach new audiences by holding games in London.
It offered a singular chance for football enthusiasts from Europe and other continents to directly experience the thrill of American football.
- Building up the NFL Brand:
Teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars were able to build a sizable fan base in the UK because of their multi-year commitment to playing games in London.
- Increasing cash and Commercial Opportunities:
Through ticket sales, item sales, and television rights, the international games generated cash streams for the NFL.
They also provided the league and its partners with additional business prospects.
- Sporting diplomacy and cultural exchange:
Sports diplomacy and cultural engagement between the US and the UK were promoted by the NFL London Games.
They provided a venue for individuals from many backgrounds to unite and celebrate their shared love of football.
- Facilitating Talent Development:
Outside of the United States, American football talent grew thanks to international competitions.
They encouraged ambitious athletes in the UK and Europe to pursue the sport professionally and support the expansion of the sport around the world.