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NFL set for return to Wembley next season

The NFL American football league is reportedly planning on returning to London’s Wembley Stadium for a regular-season game in 2022 after agreeing a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Wembley’s most recent deal with the NFL expired at the end of 2020. The stadium has not hosted a game since 2019, with no overseas fixtures taking place in 2020 due to the pandemic before Tottenham Hotspur Stadium staged two games in 2021.

Speaking to TheStadiumBusiness.com in October, the NFL’s head of game operations Matt Joyce said the league was keen to go back to Wembley and the Daily Mail has now reported that the Jaguars have struck a deal to play at the stadium next season.

According to the report, the Jaguars’ game at Wembley will be in addition to two fixtures at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which opened in 2019 and has a long-term hosting agreement in place with the NFL.

The Jaguars are also said to be in “advanced talks” with the English Football Association, which owns Wembley, over a multi-year deal to play at the stadium. The Jaguars played at Wembley every year from 2013 to 2019 and the team’s owner, Shahid Khan, has previously tried to buy the stadium.

According to the Daily Mail, the Jaguars’ game at Wembley this year will generate at least £2m (€2.4m/$2.7m) for the FA in ticket and hospitality revenue.

In March last year, it was announced that the NFL would change its season structure in 2022 to ensure that all 32 clubs play internationally at least once every eight years. The NFL said the scheduling of up to four neutral-site games per year in a country outside the United States will focus initially on Canada, Europe, Mexico, South America and the United Kingdom.

In October, the NFL announced that the German cities of Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich were in discussions to host regular-season games. The cities were invited to proceed to the ‘candidate phase’ of the selection process in which expressions of interest were received from multiple cities.