Hey there sports fans! Get ready for some serious, adrenaline-pumping American football fun this autumn in London. That’s right – the National Football League (NFL) have confirmed the dates for its upcoming NFL London 2019 series. It will be a part of the whole NFL International Series, where the events will bring eight US teams over here for four games in the UK.
Two of those matches will be played at the brand-new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the North London borough. The other two games will be held at the famous Wembley Stadium. Outside the UK, there will also be the fifth game which will be held at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, also as part of this year’s NFL International Series.
With three sold-out games held at Wembley in consecutive weeks, the 2018 London Games were a roaring success, and NFL fans came out in droves. In fact, the final game between Jacksonville and Philadelphia witnessed a record-breaking attendance of 85,870 as the Super Bowl victor – Eagles – beat the Jaguars 24-18.
New to NFL? So what’s it all about?
Here’s a mini low down of what to expect. Each game is broken into four 15-minute quarters. The object of the game is to get the ball into the end zone to receive six points, or to score three points with a field goal. To get the ball to the opponent’s end, teams have four chances – which are referred to as “downs” – to drive it at least 10 yards. If they fail, the ball goes to the other team.
Since back in 2007, London has held 24 regular-season NFL games, with 29 of the 32 clubs coming over from the US. In 2018, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks and the Oakland Raiders went head to head for the first time in the UK.
London mayor Sadiq Khan said, “London is the world’s sporting capital and hosting NFL matches here is fantastic for fans of American football in the UK as well as supporters from all over Europe. The NFL brings huge benefits for our city and showcases London to millions of viewers overseas. We’ve staged some mouth-watering matches here and hope to host even more in the years to come as we demonstrate that London Is Open.”
Sold? So, who’s playing?!
By the end of the 2019 series, 31 of the total 32 NFL teams will have played in the UK. This year’s tournament will see the Chicago Bears, Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars all touchdown at the Spurs’ Stadium and at Wembley Park.
Check out the game schedule below, and be sure to keep the following dates free in your diary:
- Chicago Bears vs. Oakland Raiders – Sunday, October 6th at 5 pm, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
- Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sunday, October 13th at 1.30 pm, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
- Cincinnati Bengals vs. Los Angeles Rams – Sunday, October 27th at 5 pm, Wembley Stadium
- Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars – Sunday, November 3rd at 1.30 pm, Wembley Stadium
What’s the deal with the venues?
Wembley is one of the most famous sporting and entertainment stadiums in the world. It’s an incredible venue that draws some of the biggest events in sport, music and entertainment and more than 2 million visitors every year.
It re-opened in May 2007 on the same site as the much-loved former stadium. Its 133m high arch has become a new landmark for London and is now instantly recognisable around the world. So it’s no surprise that this is where the fun and games are kicking off.
The brand-new Tottenham Hotspur venue is extra exciting as it is the first purpose-built NFL stadium built outside the United States. The 62,062-seater, £850 million arena was set to host last season’s UK games as part of a ten-year agreement with the league, but building delays determined they had to take place at Wembley instead.
Tottenham’s specific design guarantees it will be a touchdown for both players and fans. The design includes a retractable grass pitch for American football games as well as specific, dedicated entrances, dressing rooms, specialist medical areas and media facilities that have all been created with the tournament in mind.
Ok great, so how do I get tickets?
Tickets for NFL games in London are expected to go on sale any time now. Check out sites like Stub Hub and Ticketmaster to stay up to date with releases, and also keep an eye on the official website of NFL, as well as their social media pages.
Where should I stay in London to be in the midst of the action?
You’re pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a hotel in London, from 5 Star Hotels London to more budget options available across the city.
As the events are spread across two different venues, in totally different parts of the city, it’s a good idea to stay somewhere in the middle. Great hotels such as The Marble Arch by Montcalm London are ideal as they provide a little slice of luxury in between all the chaos of the event, and it’s near major transport hubs too.
To keep the fun going, you should definitely choose a hotel with loads of fun pubs, bars and clubs nearby so you don’t have to trek far to make a true night of it. There are loads of great West End bars to check out if you do end up staying in central London, at the likes of The Montcalm London.
Need more NFL?
If you’re hooked and want to watch more NFL, or perhaps you didn’t secure tickets this time around, don’t worry. The major matches will be shown on lots of different TV channels, in a lot of pubs and bars around the city. Check out schedules on Sky Sports, BBC Sport, Game Pass and Red Zone.
Thank us later and book your room at one of The Montcalm’s 5 Star Hotels in London now!