The rise of the NFL in England continued today as it was announced that London’s Twickenham Stadium will play host to a minimum of three regular season games as of 2016.
Today’s deal comes not long after an extension was agreed meaning Wembley Stadium will continue to hold at least two games per season through to 2020. This builds on another recent deal that will also see London football club Tottenham Hotspur display a minimum of two International Series games in their new stadium from 2018.
England’s home of Rugby could soon become home to a new London NFL franchise in the years to come. Chancellor George Osbourne’s hope to turn London into the ‘sporting capital of the world’ by forming a NFL team in England has taken a step in the right direction following today’s deal.
Eye brows will be raised towards the deal following England’s shock exit from the Rugby World Cup. Could Rugby be about to fall down the pecking order?
This idea continues to be fueled by reports that NFL coaches are keen on signing Rugby players who struggled to impress at the World Cup.
A change in sport will be an intriguing and realistic ideal for many Rugby stars. Lawrence Okoye is a good example after he went from being a British Olympic Discus thrower to being a defensive linesman for the Arizona Cardinals.
America’s National Football League continues its rapid expansion having already played three games at Wembley this season, making it fourteen in total since 2007.
This has been evidenced further by the BBC’s recent introduction of an NFL highlights show while reports also suggest the number of viewers of Sky Sports’ Sunday night coverage of games has doubled since 2007.
Tickets have consistently sold out for games at Wembley ever since it began showcasing NFL matches. The proposed increase in games shown live in England will therefore prove to be a huge economic boost in terms of revenue brought in by admission fees and the sale of merchandise.
Fans in the UK are visibly enticed by the entire occasion brought about by match days at Wembley and will undoubtedly continue to fund the sport as it grows in this country.
Thousands are understood to have turned up on Regent Street on Saturday to engage in games and celebrations prior to the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills at Wembley.
England appears to love the huge deal America makes out of its sport.
It remains to be seen whether the growing interest in the NFL will result in more people taking up the sport outside of America. It will be interesting to see how children approach the growing presence of the NFL in this country.
One thing is for sure- the excitement surrounding American Football isn’t going away.