EXCLUSIVE: NFL and Wembley double-header a ‘possibility’

October 3, 2016

The NFL International Series has got underway, with Jacksonville Jaguars edging the Indianapolis Colts 30-27 at Wembley Stadium.

The success of the NFL International Series has posed the question, could we see the NFL bring a franchise to the UK?

Many predict it could come to fruition in the 2020s, with a clear appetite for NFL building in the UK. It has lead to a deal in which Tottenham’s new stadium will be used by the NFL. With the deal in place, the suggestion has been made that there could be a Premier League/NFL ‘double-header’ at the new stadium.

Daniel Levy, Spurs’ Chairman said: “’I don’t think it’s something we’d want to try in our first game, but that is certainly realistic.

“How exciting: the idea of having the two biggest leagues in the world from a television perspective – fantastic – play on the same day.”

It seems, certainly from the outside, that this would be a logistical nightmare. Senior Vice President: International Development at Jacksonville Jaguars, Hussain Naqi, was keen to highlight the issue.

The Jaguars have an exclusive deal with Wembley which makes the stadium their base in the UK, and while Naqi thinks it’s unlikely they could hold an American Football/Soccer double-header, it’s something he wouldn’t rule out.


He said: “I suppose anything is possible. From my perspective, it would be a challenge, from field markings alone. We’d have to think through the logistics and figure out something that both sides were happy with. In terms of pitch quality, that is a workable thing. Pitches in the states, there are games played the day before that are football as it’s known over here, American Football is played the next day.

“Same day events tend to be an issue from a logistics perspective, but from an operational perspective, I suppose it’s possible.”

“The reception to the International fixtures has been amazing – they sell out really quickly, we have been oversubscribed for these games. I’m in the process in the last few days of managing the ticket allocation down to the last bit because the demand is so high.”

Although unlikely, the tie-up between the NFL and Premier League could be a fruitful one. Perhaps a weekend ticket could be the answer, to offer fans two days of sporting action. Whatever the future holds, the continued ticket sales of the NFL International Series are proving that the UK market will grow in importance for American football.