The NFL is serious about going to London and they showed how serious by partnering up with the Tottenham Hotspurs for 10-years. The agreement in part says that a minimum of two games per year must be played in the English Premier League team's new stadium in London.
The stadium is due to open in the summer of 2018 and will be completely state-of-the-art, including a retractable grass field with an artificial surface underneath that would be used for the NFL games. By having their own playing surface in London, it gives the NFL unprecedented flexibility in how it schedules it's overseas games. As most people know, London isnt known for it's great weather and rain mixed with the stomping from a full NFL game would destroy most normal surfaces that arent prepared for it. By being an indoor/outdoor stadium with it's own surface for NFL games, the NFL can put a game there at any time during the season instead of early on before the weather turns rough.
Just imagine it now, December football in London? The Ravens would love to be in this stadium and I for one wouldnt be surprised to see the Ravens be the first team in the new stadium. Remember that owner Steve Bisciotti said that there is a 75-80 percent chance that it happens within the next four years. With the stadium opening in three years, it synchs up way to well.
I would absolutely love going to London. I think it would be great. Hopefully it would be the time of year that we could get a lot of fans over there, whether it be near Christmas or near Thanksgiving, or September when the weather is still beautiful, even in the U.K.
Roger Goodell seems pumped for the ability to showcase the NFL off to a new audience in style.
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. We share a vision and commitment to creating the best experience for our teams, fans and the local community.
In addition to the two mandatory games per year that the NFL must have hosted in this stadium, it is still free to put additional games at other facilities. Meaning that the NFL could see even more games in London at other facilities, greatly expanding the NFL's reach over in the UK.
Not only is it a positive for the NFL, but the local area will see a massive economic benefit as well. According to the Tottenham Hotspurs, it is expected that the tri-borough area will see an economic impact of £11.2 million per year, while the whole of London will see an economic impact of roughly £37.8 million per year.
Dan Levy, the chairman of the Hotspurs echoed Goodell's sentiments on hosting the NFL and touched on the economic impact for the team and the area.
We have an opportunity now to deliver one of the most unique sports, leisure and entertainment venues in the world, bringing together the EPL and NFL for the first time. 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.
It sounds like a wonderful experience for players and for the fans. Especially when you see some of the renderings of how things will look!