NFL Announces Second London Game for 2013: Is This Oversaturation?
By: The Football Girl | Posted: October 16, 2012
According to CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora, the second London game for 2013 is set. The Vikings will “host” the Steelers on September 29th, 2013. That game joins the Jaguars playing “host” to the 49ers on October 27th, 2013. As with all International Series matchups, both games will be played at Wembley Stadium.
2013 will mark the first year when two regular season games will be played overseas, and doubling the NFL’s presence will be an interesting experiment. Games played thus far have been met with huge enthusiasm (and ticket sales) from the British crowd. But we are past the days when teams would come early in the week and attend special events, and players would spend their off time gallivanting throughout the city on a double-decker bus. It really has become more of an easy-in, easy-out situation.
And I believe two London games a month apart is oversaturation. It may not feel that way next season because the Steelers have fans in every nook and cranny in the world and will surely come out in full force, and the 49ers have a significant chunk of their fan base who can actually afford to trek to London for a long weekend. But what happens when the Jags host the Titans, or the Vikings host the Bills. Without a marquee team playing, something London has had every year since the International Series began, I just don’t see the longevity.
To date there have been five regular season games at Wembley:
Miami Dolphins and New York Giants (2007),
New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers (2008)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots (2009)
San Francisco and Denver Broncos (2010)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted the Chicago Bears (2011)
The Rams and Patriots play in London on October 28th.