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NFL to expand London series to Tottenham’s new stadium

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The NFL reached agreement with Tottenham Hotspur for a minimum of two games per year to be played during a 10-year partnership at the English Premier League team’s new stadium in London.

Tottenham Hotspur is building a new home field to replace White Hart Lane, which is nearly 116 years old. The new 61,000-seat venue, adjacent to its current stadium, is due to open in the summer of 2018.

“With growing enthusiasm for the NFL in the United Kingdom, we are committed to hosting NFL games in world-class venues and are excited to partner with Tottenham Hotspur to play games at their future stadium,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday in a statement. “We share a vision and commitment to creating the best experience for our teams, fans and the local community.”

The new stadium will feature a retractable grass field with an artificial surface underneath that would be used for NFL games. Both sports will have dedicated facilities.

The stadium is part of the Northumberland Development Project that spans more than 20 acres.

In addition to the minimum of two games per year at the new Tottenham site, other NFL games may take place at different venues in the UK during the span of the 10-year agreement.

The NFL has two seasons remaining on the arrangement with Wembley Stadium, where it has so far staged 11 games since 2007, and the league said it is optimistic that the relationship will be extended beyond 2016.

“We have an opportunity now to deliver one of the most unique sporting and entertainment venues in the world, bringing together the EPL and NFL for the first time,” said Daniel Levy, chairman of Tottenham Hotspur. “The socio-economic benefits this will bring to the area will be immense and demonstrates our commitment to the regeneration of this priority borough in London.”

Boris Johnson, mayor of London, welcomed the agreement.

“Anyone who has seen American Football at Wembley Stadium cannot fail to have been thrilled by the spectacle, and the wise heads that run the NFL have clearly not missed the fact that Londoners are going absolutely gangbusters for gridiron,” Johnson said. “We are already working very closely with the NFL, including on plans to get more Londoners involved in the sport, and we believe that building on the success of NFL at Wembley by staging more games in an area of the city that has been earmarked for a massive program of economic regeneration and investment makes perfect sense.”

The NFL International Series began on Oct. 28, 2007, when the New York Giants defeated the Miami Dolphins 13-10 en route to a victory in Super Bowl XLII.

In 2015, three regular-season NFL games will be played at Wembley Stadium in London. The slate features a first-ever division game in London when the Miami Dolphins host the New York Jets on Oct. 4, as well as games played on consecutive Sundays — also a first for the NFL in London — when the Jacksonville Jaguars face the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 25, followed by the Kansas City Chiefs meeting the Detroit Lions on Nov. 1.


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