NFL agrees to 10-year deal to play games in Europe


The NFL recently agreed to a new 10-year deal with Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League, to play two games per year at their anticipated new stadium set to be finished in 2018. This is big news for the NFL, as they have been increasing their exposure in Europe since 2007. Previously, all NFL games played in London took place at Wembley Stadium. The NFL started off slow by introducing one game per season in 2007-2012. They jumped to two games per year in 2013, and will now play three games there this year, similar to 2014. ESPN FC has the story. 

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Tottenham will soon be the hosts of one of the newest and most innovative stadiums in Europe. The new stadium, set to be completed in the Summer of 2018, will seat 60,000 fans and have a retractable grass playing surface that will guard an artificial turf surface to be used for NFL contests and other events. The stadium was also strategically placed along lines of major public transportation in order to alleviate congestion on game days or during major events.

Aug 24, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; General view of a St. Louis Rams helmet with the heads up logo during the preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field .The Broncos defeated the Rams 27-26. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Both Roger Goodell and Tottenham Chairman Daniel Levy were excited at the prospect of adding more games to the schedule in coming years. Both noted the growing popularity of the NFL in Europe and continue to have hopes of one day establishing a permanent NFL franchise in a surrounding city. The prospect of adding a European based franchise to the NFL would prove to be an extreme logistic challenge. Hosting, and traveling, for eight games out of the year may prove to be more trouble than it’s worth when there is a potential for a drop in quality of play and market revenue.

The NFL will once again play three games at Wembley Stadium this season. Week 4 will see a matchup of the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. Week 7 will host the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars, and things will wrap up with a week 8 Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs battle.

The St. Louis Rams played host to the New England Patriots in a 2012 matchup at Wembley Stadium. The Rams opened things up early when Sam Bradford hit Chris Givens for a 50-yard touchdown pass on the games opening drive, but Tom Brady would take over from there and put on a clinic. All said and done, the Patriots would go on to paste the Rams 45-7.