THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
The NFL has confirmed that all 2020 International Series games will be scheduled to take place on US soil in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. The decision to move games planned for London and Mexico City back to the United States was made by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, having discussed the matter with clubs, national and local governments, the NFL Players Association and International Stadium Partners.
The decision means that the 4 NFL games planned for London 2020 - two at Tottenham Hotspur's Stadium and two at Wembley - and one planned at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City - will be played in the United States. Explaining the call, NFL Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer Christopher Halpin said that "After considerable analysis, we believe the decision to play all our games domestically this season is the right one for our players, our clubs, and all our fans in the US, Mexico and UK ... We greatly appreciate the support of our governmental and stadium partners in Mexico and the United Kingdom, who all agree with this decision, and we look forward to returning for games in both countries in the 2021 season."
Halpin also extended his thanks to the NFL's international fans, saying "We also thank our incredible fans in those territories for their passionate support of the NFL. We will continue to serve them through our outstanding media partners and by being active supporters of both grassroots football and COVID-19 relief efforts in Mexico and the UK."
The teams that were scheduled to play their home games internationally - the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins - will now play these games at their home stadiums.
UK based stakeholders in the decision, including London Mayor Sadiq Kahn, Alistair Kirkwood of NFL UK, Daniel Levy of Tottenham Hotspur and Mark Burrows of the Football Association (owners of Wembley Stadium), all expressed support for the decision, and said they looked forward to future NFL matches in the UK.