Jets-Dolphins Game Will be Played at Wembley Stadium
Following the tradition since 1986, the NFL will host another game in London this weekend. Next Sunday October 4, Miami Dolphins will play as home team against the New York Jets.
The NFL used to stage one preseason game, called the “American Bowl” in London from 1986 to 2005, at the old Wembley Stadium. Since the old stadium demolition and the construction of the new Wembley Stadium open in 2007, the NFL has hosted in London a regular season game until 2012.
In 2013, the National Football League began expanding the amount of season games played in London. Two games were played during that year and in 2014, there were allowed 3 season games.
While this will be the Jets’ first London game, it’ll be the Dolphins’ third trip there, and second as the home team. Miami was the home team in the NFL’s first regular-season game in London, Giants-Dolphins in 2007.
Jets first overseas experience forces them to be prepared for anything. As they are flying with more than 5,000 items — ranging from cereal and extension cords to gauze pads and wristbands.
Nonetheless, the gaudiest item is the 350 rolls of two-ply toilet paper they are carrying with. Apparently the intention is to replace the thinner version used in England. I guess everything counts when you try to feel just like home.
Now, giving up a home game does have its rewards. It is stated by the Sun-Sentinel, that the Dolphins received $1 million from the NFL for giving up this home game against the Jets, in order to play in London.
Nonetheless the reward is only for the Dolphins as they were the ones who volunteer to give up a home game and play in London. The normal rotational process of NFL scheduling selects the opponent, which can’t refuse.
Besides the Jets-Dolphins game, London will be hosting the Bills-Jaguars game on Oct. 25 and the Lions-Chiefs game on Nov. 1st.
The new Wembley Stadium has a capacity to seat 90.000 fans. It is located at the same location as the old stadium and it is the home of England’s national soccer team.
NFL European Franchise?
Apparently the NFL has more than one good reason to keep playing season games in the European city, as the possibility of creating a NFL franchise is getting stronger.
At least this is how the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, feels. About a week ago, on Wednesday October 27th, Johnson held a Twitter Q&A. in which a fan asked him when London will finally get its own NFL team. Johnson replied by saying, “we are working hard on deal – high hopes for Tottenham in the next few years…”
The NFL states that UK’s “avid” fan base has increased by 50 percent in the past three years. However, there is still a long way to travel, until we see a NFL European franchise.
In the meantime, enjoy the Jets-Dolphins game at Wembley Stadium in London, next Sunday October 4th. Kick off is at 9:30 a.m., New Jersey time.