Rule Britainia! The NFL and Tottenham Hotspur Wednesday 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.

According to the Associated Press, USA Today and the Times of 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 United Kingdom 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 United Kingdom 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 (English Professional League) 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 Miami 13-10 en route to a victory in Super Bowl XLII.

Three games will be on the London docket this season with a first-ever division game in the United Kingdom when the AFC East New York Jets take on the Miami Dolphins on October 4. There will also be contests on consecutive Sundays, a first in the London series, when Jacksonville hosts Buffalo on October 25 and Kansas City and Detroit squaring off on November 1.

The International Series to date has contributed to increased NFL fan interest in the United Kingdom, 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:

Date
October 28, 2007 – New York Giants 13, Miami 10
October 26, 2008 – New Orleans 37, San Diego 32
October 25, 2009 – New England 35, Tampa Bay 7
October 31, 2010 – San Francisco 24, Denver 16
October 23, 2011 – Chicago 34, Tampa Bay 18
October 28, 2012 – New England 45, St. Louis 7
September 29, 2013 – Minnesota 34, Pittsburgh 27
October 27, 2013 – San Francisco 42, Jacksonville 10
September 28, 2014 – Miami 38, Oakland 14
October 26, 2014 – Detroit 22, ATLANTA 21
November 9, 2014 – Dallas 31, Jacksonville 17
October 4, 2015 – New York Jets vs. Miami
October 25, 2015 – Buffalo vs. Jacksonville
November 1, 2015 – Detroit vs. Kansas City

Advertisements