The NFL London Games
The razzle-dazzle of American football is part of London’s sporting calendar, thanks to the NFL London Games. This year, in addition to action at Wembley Stadium, which has hosted encounters since 2007, it’s time for a brand-new stadium to step up to the plate.
Making its NFL debut is Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – the £1billion, state-of-the-art, 62,062-capacity ground that replaces the club’s previous ground, White Hart Lane. Dubbed the world’s best stadium by players and critics, its asymmetrical design creates a ‘heart’ towards the home end, with a 17,500 single tier to generate a ‘wall of sound’.
As well as hosting Premier League and European matches, the club has made a commitment to the NFL: there’s a retractable grass field with an artificial surface underneath to be used for the NFL games, plus dedicated facilities including a locker room for the home players.
Daniel Levy, chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, says: ‘We have an opportunity now to deliver one of the most unique sports, leisure and entertainment venues in the world, bringing together the Premier League and the NFL for the first time.’
Spurs’ ground sees Chicago Bears vs Oakland Raiders (6 Oct) and Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13 Oct). Wembley, the famous home of the England football team, hosts Cincinnati Bengals vs Los Angeles Rams (27 Oct) and Houston Texans
vs Jacksonville Jaguars (3 Nov).
Look out for ‘tailgate’ pre-match parties, near the games’ venues, which include appearances from NFL legends, interactive fun and classic American food and drinks, from pizza to burgers.
A guide to American football
• The game is played on a 100-yard (91m) field, by two teams
of 11 players
• A squad of 53 players make up each team’s offence, defence and special teams units that take turns in the field
• The aim is to move the ball into your opponent’s endzone for a touchdown, scoring six points
• Players can pass the ball up the field from quarterback to receiver, or by a running back rushing it along the ground
Fancy touring a prestigious stadium with your kids? Read how 12-year old Reuven enjoyed Stamford Bridge