Saturday, July 21News For London

NFL commissioner comes to Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur has agreed to a 10-year deal with the National Football League (NFL) to host games within their new stadium starting next season.

Courtesy Creative Commons

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was given a tour of the grounds by Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy on 30 October, following the completion of this season’s NFL games in London.

Levy said: “It is always a pleasure to welcome the NFL to Tottenham and for them to see the vision that we share becoming a reality right in front of us,” as reported by the Daily Mail.

“We have worked closely with them throughout this project and their involvement will play a significant part in helping us create one of the most compelling venues for sports and entertainment in the world, right here in Tottenham.”

The Guardian reported that the stadium will consist of an artificial surface. It will be installed under the regular grass pitch used by Spurs to host regular season NFL games, at a minimum of twice a year.

 

Levy expects a positive impact on the surrounding area of the new multi-purpose stadium, according to The Guardian.

“The socio-economic benefits this will bring to the area will be immense and demonstrates our commitment to the regeneration of this priority borough in London,” Levy said in The Guardian.

It was reported by the Daily Mail that Goodell also brought along NFL executive vice president Mark Waller, head of international and events, to check out the progress of the stadium in north London.

Following the completion of the 2017 London NFL games, fans around the city are eager to watch American Football in this new state-of-the-art White Hart Lane beginning next season.

History of the NFL in London

This year, the NFL celebrated 10 years since the first regular-season game was staged in London by playing a record four games in the Big Smoke, between both Wembley and Twickenham Stadium.

The four games played this season brings the total number of NFL games staged in London to 21. The sport is continuing to gain fans in the UK and those fans set a record attendance for an NFL game at Wembley Stadium of 84,592 on 24 September, where the London-favoured Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Baltimore Ravens 44-7.

The 2017 NFL London Games concluded on 29 October with a Viking defeat over the Cleveland Browns who remain winless this season.

Video: Miranda Tomlinson

Although Jacksonville is branded as the ‘London Favourite’, there are fans of all 32 teams here in the UK. Pittsburgh Steelers fan Marek Batowski-Smith, who attended the final 2017 London NFL game, said he has friends who are Patriots and Browns fans.

“They made me watch American football to show me the difference between rugby and American football.”

Batowski-Smith said he’s been in love with the game ever since and found himself picking a side. For this Welsh fan, that side was the Pittsburgh Steelers.

(Sub-Caroline Paul)