The NFL London Series:
Starting in 2007, the NFL has hosted International Series games at London’s Wembley Stadium. The games will continue until at least 2016, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has openly discussed holding a Super Bowl in London. There are even high hopes that Britain may one day have their own NFL franchise. London hosts three sold-out games this year:
Miami Dolphins vs. Oakland Raiders on September 29th (Miami dominated Oakland 38-14)
Atlanta Falcons vs. Detroit Lions on October 26th
Dallas Cowboys vs. Jacksonville Jaguars on November 9th
Falcons vs. Lions:
The Atlanta Falcons will head to London to host the Detroit Lions for both teams first London experience. The Falcons, in desperate need of a win, fell to the Chicago Bears last week for their third straight loss. The Lions boosted their record to 4-2 last week with a win over the Vikings. Both teams have one more game before the trip to London, the Falcons travelling to Baltimore to face the Ravens and the Lions playing the Saints at home.
An Atlanta Falcons “London Views” Friday Night Cruise will take place on Oct. 24, giving fans the opportunity to experience all of the London sites while cruising the Thames River. The Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders and NFL Alumni players will be present for the cruise. The NFL also hosts a rally in Trafalgar Square the day before the game. The rally gives fans an opportunity to boost team spirit and get involved in the NFL experience.
Watching the Game in the US:
Falcons and Lions fans will have to wake up extra early if they want to catch the game in London in real time on TV. The game will be aired on Fox at 9:30AM Eastern and 6:30AM Pacific. It is the first game with such an early kick-off, making it 1:30pm London time.
The International Series game should be a tough one for the Falcons and Lions alike, with traveling and time difference. However, the NFL has faith that fans on both sides of the pond will be able to enjoy the match-up.
UPDATE: NFL rule favors Atlanta to host Super Bowl:
NFL owners voted last week that they will require Super Bowl host teams to play a home game in London. That means, over a five-year period teams must lose one home game if they want to bid to host the Super Bowl.
This new ruling may put Atlanta as a front-runner to host Super Bowl 2019. The team’s new stadium will be completed by 2017 and the city of Atlanta has the resources to make a deal happen.