The NFL American football league has agreed a 10-year deal with English Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur to play a minimum of two games per season at its new stadium.
London-based Tottenham is set to move to its new 61,000-seat stadium in 2018. The facility will feature a retractable grass field with an artificial surface underneath that would be used for NFL games.
Both sports will have dedicated facilities at the stadium and the deal marks the NFL’s latest expansion into the UK market following its successful staging of 11 regular season games at Wembley Stadium, also in the English capital, since 2007.
It has two seasons remaining on its current deal with Wembley, which runs until 2016 and the NFL is optimistic of a further extension to its tenure at the national stadium.
“With growing enthusiasm for the NFL in the United Kingdom, we are committed to hosting NFL games in world-class venues and are excited to partner with Tottenham Hotspur to play games at their future stadium,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We share a vision and commitment to creating the best experience for our teams, fans and the local community.”
The stadium is part of the Northumberland Development Project and Tottenham will shortly release images and details of updated designs to the stadium and the wider scheme following the NFL deal. The NFL stressed that in addition to the minimum of two games per year at the new Tottenham site, other games may take place at different venues in the UK during the span of the 10-year agreement.
“We have an opportunity now to deliver one of the most unique sporting and entertainment venues in the world, bringing together the EPL and NFL for the first time,” Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said. “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.
“We have always underlined the importance of public sector support for the long-term regeneration of the area. This support is now clearly in evidence in the masterplans that have been brought forward by the London Borough of Haringey, both through the Northumberland Park project to the east of the stadium and the High Road West scheme.
“These plans, alongside the commitments made by the Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority to infrastructure and public realm investment, and with the support of Central Government, demonstrate that there is now a collective public and private sector desire to deliver lasting change to the area.
“This was an important factor for the NFL when they agreed to bring their hugely popular sport to Tottenham. I am delighted that we have succeeded in attracting them. We have a compelling and exciting partnership that will play its part as we begin transforming this area of Tottenham.”
The NFL International Series began on October 28, 2007, when the New York Giants defeated the Miami Dolphins 13-10. In 2015, three regular-season NFL games will be played at Wembley Stadium for the second year in a row. The slate features a first-ever division game in the UK when the Miami Dolphins host the New York Jets on October 4, as well as games played on consecutive Sundays – also a first for the NFL in London – when the Jacksonville Jaguars face the Buffalo Bills on October 25, followed by the Kansas City Chiefs meeting the Detroit Lions on November 1.