The NFL American football league has confirmed the schedule for its 2015 International Series, which will remain at three games but will include back-to-back encounters and the first-ever division game.
The ninth edition of the annual series will comprise three matches that will again take place at Wembley Stadium in London. The New York Jets will travel to the UK for the first time to face the Miami Dolphins on October 4 in a game that will mark the first-ever division match to be played at Wembley. The Dolphins will appear in the series for a third time, having taken part in the first-ever edition in 2007 as well this year’s event.
Jacksonville Jaguars, which in 2012 signed a deal to appear in the UK for four consecutive years, will host Wembley debutant the Buffalo Bills on October 25. Having lost 42-10 to the San Francisco 49ers last year, the Jaguars will face Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in the second of its four agreed UK games.
The final game of the 2015 series will see Kansas City Chiefs travel to the UK for the first time to host the Detroit Lions on November 1. The Lions also appeared in the middle game of this year’s series, beating the Atlanta Falcons 22-21 in what was the closest game the UK has witnessed since the series began in 2007.
Mark Waller, executive vice-president of international for the NFL, said: “We are very appreciative of the outstanding support from our fans in the UK, not only for the games at Wembley, but for all of the related NFL events we have hosted throughout the city.
“We believe we have a great 2015 schedule that will continue to attract new fans to our sport and strengthen the bonds with our existing fans. To provide UK fans the opportunity to see games on consecutive weekends, to see new teams, and to attend a division game, which feature some of the most passionate rivalries in our sport, are signs of the growth and depth of our UK fan base.”
The times of the 2015 games will be confirmed at a later date. The Lions-Falcons clash created NFL history with its 1:30pm (GMT) kick-off the earliest start for American viewers in the league’s history.
The NFL last month said Wembley Stadium would again host three regular season games in 2015, with hopes of adding additional encounters ended by logistical issues surrounding London’s status as a host city for the Rugby World Cup.
The 2015 Rugby World Cup runs from September 18 to October 31, cutting across the main window for NFL games in London. Wembley is one of the English capital’s three venues for the rugby union showpiece, alongside Twickenham and the Olympic Stadium, and is due to host games on September 20 and September 27.