Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium is set to host its first NFL American football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Oakland Raiders later this year.
The NFL announced its UK game schedule for 2018 yesterday (Thursday), with the English Premier League club’s under-construction stadium to host its first NFL game on October 14, with purpose-built facilities.
Tottenham’s new home ground will become the third London venue to host regular-season games for the NFL in its International Series, an annual set of games that take place in the English capital.
Wembley Stadium had been the traditional home of the NFL in London prior to the introduction of rugby union’s Twickenham in 2016, but the Spurs ground, due for completion in the summer, will join the mix from the 2018 series, kicking off a 10-year partnership with the NFL.
Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, said: “This is one of the cornerstones of our vision for creating a world-class sports and leisure destination that will make Tottenham a hive of activity 365 days a year and drive the regeneration of one of the most deprived areas of London.
“The NFL will bring a whole new audience to the local area, showcase Tottenham and bring further economic and social benefits with truly global coverage and attraction.”
The state-of-the-art stadium will feature a retractable grass field with an artificial surface underneath that will be used for NFL games, as well as customised designs for the NFL including a dedicated entrance, purpose-built dressing rooms and medical and media facilities.
The announcement of three regular-season games in London comes after the city staged four games last year. Twickenham will not host any games this year.
Mark Waller, NFL executive vice-president of events and international, said: “This enables us to achieve important learning’s relating to the fans’ preferences, ticketing, team logistics and local transportation and infrastructure in order to create the best possible experience and environment. We will play an additional game at Tottenham in a future season, over and above the planned two per year, to make up for this.”
The NFL’s London schedule will also see Jacksonville Jaguars host Philadelphia Eagles and LA Chargers host Tennessee Titans at Wembley on the weekends of October 21 and 28.