The National Football League today announced the schedule of London Games for 2018, including a Week 6 matchup between the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks in what will be the first-ever NFL game at Tottenham Stadium.
"The Raiders are a truly global brand and we look forward to hosting the first NFL game in Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium," said Raiders Owner Mark Davis.
The Oct. 14 contest will mark the third-straight season and the fourth time in five years that the Raiders have hosted a regular-season game internationally. The Silver and Black played games at Mexico City's Estadio Azteca in each of the last two seasons and made the team's debut in London against the Miami Dolphins in 2014.
The 2018 London Games schedule:
|Week||Date||Visiting Team||Home Team||Site|
|6||10/14/18||Seattle Seahawks||Oakland Raiders||Tottenham Hotspur|
|7 or 8||10/21/18 or 10/28/18||Philadelphia Eagles||Jacksonville Jaguars||Wembley Stadium|
|7 or 8||10/21/18 or 10/28/18||Tennessee Titans||Los Angeles Chargers||Wembley Stadium|
English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium is the site of the first game of the 2018 London schedule. The Raiders, the home team in London for a second time, welcome the Seahawks to Tottenham for their first game in London. Tottenham's new stadium becomes the third venue to stage a regular-season game in the UK, joining Wembley Stadium and Twickenham Stadium.
Over the following two weeks, October 21 and 28, two additional teams will make their London debuts as visiting teams. The Philadelphia Eagles will face the Jacksonville Jaguars in a matchup of 2017 playoff teams, while the Tennessee Titans will face the Los Angeles Chargers. The order of the games, along with all kickoff times, is to be confirmed.
"We continue to be very excited by the growth of the NFL in the UK," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "The fans have demonstrated outstanding support and passion for the NFL over the past 11 seasons and we look forward to some great games in London this year. A key feature of our success is playing in iconic, world-renowned venues like Wembley and Twickenham, and we look forward to playing in what will be another incredible setting for NFL football at Tottenham's new stadium."
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "London is the international home of the NFL and I am really excited to welcome the world's best American football stars and their thousands of fans from around the globe back to our city.
"I'm delighted Tottenham Hotspur's fantastic new stadium is joining the line-up of world-class sports arenas in our great city. Spurs' new ground will stage one game in its first year of opening and in 2019 we look forward to going back to staging at least four NFL games in London. Once again, London has shown why it is the sporting capital of the world and open to the very best sports events."
By the end of the 2018 season, the NFL will have played 24 regular-season games in London, with 29 of 32 teams having participated.
Mark Waller, NFL Executive Vice-President of Events and International, said: "This is another important year as we develop our plans for London and the UK. By playing games on three consecutive weeks we will learn a lot, both from the fans buying tickets and attending games, and from a logistics and organizational standpoint.
"We are very excited about playing our first game at Tottenham's magnificent new stadium and will follow our usual pattern of playing one game in our first season at a new venue, as we did at Wembley and Twickenham in previous years. This enables us to achieve important learnings relating to the fans' preferences, ticketing, team logistics and local transportation and infrastructure in order to create the best possible experience and environment. We will play an additional game at Tottenham in a future season, over and above the planned two per year, to make up for this."
The NFL and Tottenham Hotspur announced in 2015 that they had reached agreement for a minimum of two games per year to be played during a 10-year partnership. The state-of-the-art stadium, due to open this summer, will feature a retractable grass field with an artificial surface underneath that will be used for NFL games. It will also have customized features such as purpose-built locker rooms, medical and media facilities and a dedicated entrance.
"This is a milestone year for the club as we look ahead to the opening of our new stadium and all that it will bring to the area of Tottenham," said Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy.
"The announcement of the first game of the NFL's 2018 London Games to take place at our new home heralds the commencement of our 10-year partnership. This is one of the cornerstones of our vision for creating a world-class sports and leisure destination that will make Tottenham a hive of activity 365 days a year and drive the regeneration of one of the most deprived areas of London. The NFL will bring a whole new audience to the local area, showcase Tottenham and bring further economic and social benefits with truly global coverage and attraction."
The NFL kicked off its series of regular-season games in London in 2007, when the New York Giants beat the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium on their way to winning the Super Bowl. The home of English football has now hosted 18 NFL games, with almost 1.5 million fans attending those games.
"The NFL holds huge value and importance to Wembley Stadium and we are proud to have hosted games under the arch for the past decade and played a key role in the growth of the sport," said Martin Glenn, Chief Executive of the Football Association.
"NFL games bring people to the stadium from all over the world, economic spend to the local area and are among the highlights of the Wembley events calendar. We learn a great deal from the NFL; how they operate the venue and how they activate around the games. We are very excited to be welcoming some outstanding playoff teams to the stadium in 2018 and hope our strong partnership will continue for years to come."
Ticketing details will be announced by NFL UK on January 18. Anyone interested in registering their interest in attending any of the games can do so at www.ticketmaster.com/nfl to ensure they receive all the latest information.