Thursday, October 24, 2013

NFL Adding 3 Regular Season Games In London For 2014 Season


The NFL announced Thursday morning that there will be three regular season games in London for the 2014 season. The final NFL game of the 2013 season is on Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers against the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo:anearlybath.wordpress.com).














On Thursday morning, the NFL announced the three regular season games in London for the 2014 season, according to ESPN.com. The increase in London games shows how successful the games have been there.

The apparent intention for the NFL games in London is to expand its' fan base. However, the NFL matchup in London on Sept. 29 featured two teams with a 0-3 record, the Minnesota Vikings against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.NBCSports.com, the prior poor play of the teams did not discourage London's NFL fans. A NFL block party that was held in London on Sept. 28 drew more than 500,000 people, according to SportsBusinessDaily.com.


The Wembley Stadium, where the game was played, drew 83,518 people, according to ESPN.com.
There is only one NFL Stadium that has a capacity of at least 83,518 people and that is FedEx Field, 85,000.

Wembley Stadium's capacity, according to Google, is 90,000.

The problem for the NFL in London, according to Florio, is trying to convince the British media to report on the games. British media outlets like The Sunday Times, and the online version of outlets like The Telegraph and The Daily Mail did not having any stories on the game.

The NFL's new idea could fix the way British media outlets view NFL games played in London. The NFL decided on Thursday morning that there will be three regular season games next season in London featuring six teams.

The games will be the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Dallas Cowboys, the Atlanta Falcons against the Detroit Lions, and the Oakland Raiders against the Miami Dolphins. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN.com his reasoning behind the scheduling change in London:

"Our fans in the UK continue to demonstrate their passion for more football. Next year for the first time we will play three regular-season games in London. We have scheduled three attractive games with four teams playing in their first International Series game (Cowboys, Falcons, Lions, and Raiders). The growing enthusiasm for the NFL internationally is exciting and we look forward to continuing to respond to this interest in our game."

The London games have had a huge impact on one NFL team. The Jaguars, who have had trouble getting people to go to home games, have scheduled 'home' games in London the next three seasons.

The next NFL game to be played in London is the San Francisco 49ers against the Jaguars on Sunday. This game could be played in front of a sellout crowd at Wembley Stadium because the 49ers lost to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.

-Noah Weintraub

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