THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
To the great excitement – and no doubt relief – of football fans in the UK, the NFL is returning to London with two International Series games in 2021. Both will be regular season games, and both held at London’sTottenham Hotspur Stadium .
The Atlanta Falcons will host the New York Jets on Sunday, October 10 and the Jacksonville Jaguars will be at home against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, October 17, with both games kicking off at 2.30pm UK time (9.30 a.m. ET)
The Jaguars will be playing their eighth home game in London, while the Dolphins will play in the UK for the fifth time and the Falcons and Jets will both take the field in London for the second time. There have been 28 NFL games in London over 13 consecutive seasons from 2007-2019. The coronavirus pandemic forced all games in 2020 to be played in the United States.
This year’s schedule means that fans in the UK will get to see some of the most exciting quarterbacks in the League, from the first two picks of the 2021 NFL Draft – Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars) and Zach Wilson (Jets) – to four-time Pro Bowler Matt Ryan of the Falcons and the Dolphins’ talented play-caller Tua Tagovailoa.
Christopher Halpin, NFL Executive Vice-President, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer, said: "We have been working closely with the UK government, the city of London and the relevant health organisations over the past year in planning the games. Through their successful vaccine rollout and commitment to bringing crowds back to sports events, the time is right for the return of NFL football this fall. We will continue to monitor the COVID environment, putting health and safety first, and will adhere to any and all future COVID regulations and restrictions."
The UK’s Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, added: "The NFL has become a regular fixture in the UK's brilliant sporting calendar and I’m delighted to welcome the League back to London for another season. This is a major vote of confidence in our country's progress to bring coronavirus under control and our ability to stage major sporting events safely. Our Events Research Programme is playing an important role in testing the safe return of fans and will inform our decision making on getting people back watching live sport again safely in greater numbers."
Todd Kline, Tottenham Hotspur Chief Commercial Officer, said: "We are delighted to be welcoming the NFL back to Tottenham and to host four more teams and their fans. The club was thrilled with the feedback it received from the NFL, its coaches, players and fans alike after the first NFL games in 2019. We shall be doing all we can to ensure we create even more great memories for all those that come to experience these two exciting matchups later this year."
"The Jaguars are honored to return to London, our home away from home, and continue in our mission to grow the NFL and promote Jacksonville in the UK and beyond," said Jaguars team owner Shad Khan. The billionaire also owns Fulham FC soccer club in London. "With Urban Meyer as our head coach, we’ll be arriving with an entirely new look and attitude that I’m confident will meet the approval of our Union Jax supporters."
To register for ticketing information for the London Games visit nfl.com/uk