NFL, Tottenham Announce 10-Year Partnership at New Stadium
Tally-ho! The NFL’s relationship with the UK deepened today as London-based Tottenham Hotspur announced a ten-year deal to host a minimum of two NFL games a year when their new stadium opens in 2018. ‘Minimum of’ may be the key verbiage here.
“Touchdowns in Tottenham can only add to our reputation as a global sporting powerhouse, and help us take another step towards our goal of having a permanent NFL franchise here in London,” London Mayor Boris Johnson said (via NFL Communications).
Like Johnson, Roger Goodell has not kept his desire for a UK-based franchise a secret.
En route to securing the 10-year agreement, Tottenham’s White Heart Lane stadium instituted an important step last week when it announced approval to build a basement level, therefore allowing locker room construction to expand and accommodate an NFL 53-man roster. The stadium itself is expected to have a capacity around 61,000.
The International Series began in London in 2007 with a sole game at Wembley Stadium between the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants. In 2013, the Jacksonville Jaguars announced a four-year commitment to play a “home” game at Wembley. That same year, the NFL extended the International series to two games. This season, there are three games on the docket, with earlier start times catered more for th audience over the Atlantic. Jacksonville owner Shad Khan has stated that he’d like to extend Jacksonville’s agreement with NFL UK.
There are still several important steps before a full-time franchise in London is plausible. But it’s safe to say that London is calling.