October 25, 2019
The NFL. It’s one of the greatest sporting spectacles on the planet, with some of the world’s most obsessive fans. And to satisfy the growing army of devotees living in Europe, the league established an International Series in 2007 which sees some of the biggest NFL teams play regular season games in London. We’ve been proudly supporting the NFL International Series for the past few years, including flying the teams over for the big games. This year, we sent football (soccer) fan and our senior manager, communications channels, Steve Clark along to witness his first ever NFL game. This is his report.
Whether you’re a seasoned NFL superfan or a first time-tryer like me, the NFL in London has something for everyone. From the easy-to-get-to stadiums and mammoth choice of half-time (and pre-game, and quarter, and full time…) snacks, to the colourful and friendly crowd and the booming atmosphere, a day out at the NFL in London will live long in the memory.
In a nutshell, an amazing atmosphere, which started as soon as we boarded the train to the stadium. It was crammed with fans, all talking about the upcoming game and who’s going to be this season’s most valuable player. As we walked into the stadium, the pre-game show was well underway and we could feel the noise. But not that intimidating, aggressive noise you get at some sporting events. This was a stadium full of people having fun and enjoying the show, and that atmosphere remained for the rest of the game. Fans of both teams sat together, chatting and getting along. Out on the concourse, the same was happening. It was a great day out for families and people of all ages.
If you have a football jersey, wear it. It doesn’t matter who you’re going to see or what colours you wear, everyone represents their favourite team. And if you don’t have a jersey? It doesn’t matter. Head to the NFL store at the stadium and they will get you kitted out from head to toe.
Now this is important, and it caught me out. There are restrictions in terms of the size and type of bag you can bring, as well as the food and drink you can take into the stadiums. Check the website before you travel, or risk having to dump your backpack in the bin like I did.
What not to eat and drink is the harder question. The choices are endless. From pretzels to burgers, hotdogs to pizza, vegetarian to vegan, all tastes are catered for. The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium even has its own Beavertown microbrewery.
Well, they tried. But this US tradition of beer and BBQ parties around the boot of your car in sport stadium car parks has never really taken off in the UK. We could probably learn a thing or two from our American cousins. So why don’t you jump on a flight, head on over to London and show us how to throw a real tailgate party at the next game?