NFL to play two games a year on Tottenham Hotspur’s crazy hidden turf field

Looks like that Tottenham Hotspur retractable field — which would apparently actually be a retractable grass pitch over permanent fake turf, something that’s hard to picture, especially since there’s no obvious place for it to retract to, but anyway — has done the trick, as the Premier League club announced a deal yesterday to host two NFL games per year at its new London stadium, once it opens in 2018.

In exchange, Tottenham will get … hang on, there’s got to be something in the long NFL.com statement that says what the NFL will be paying in rent or revenue sharing … nope, apparently not. But the NFL will provide Tottenham with something, in addition to the warm glow of hosting the kind of football that people in the UK don’t actually care about. (As my Vice collleague Aaron Gordon discovered last year, the Super Bowl got beat in the British TV ratings by both The Simpsons and a competitive tourism reality show called “Coach Trip.”)

Meanwhile, the new Tottenham deal has lots of folks speculating that this is the precursor to a full-time London NFL team soon, which it really isn’t, for all the reasons I went over back in April. For now, Tottenham just gets a bit of undisclosed cash, and the NFL gets some more chances to beat out Harry Shearer for the hearts and minds of the British public.


2 comments on “NFL to play two games a year on Tottenham Hotspur’s crazy hidden turf field

  1. In defense of Brits and the Super Bowl, the game starts late on a Sunday night over there and with work the next day, I’m sure plenty decided they’d DVR it or whatever and watch it on Monday night.

    A personal anecdote. I took my first (and so far only) trip to London in late October in 2012, and it happened to coincide, without me realizing beforehand, with a Patriots vs. Rams NFL game at Wembley.

    I saw some Americans at the touristy sites over the Thursday/Friday/Saturday in the lead up to the game, some wearing their team’s gear, but I actually met some guys from Germany and another guy from France who had flown up that weekend to go see the game.

    If the NFL actually polled the audience, I would guess that at least half of them (and maybe more) of the folks attending the game would be from outside of England.

    Oh, and one of the German guys I met the morning of the game at a pub was wearing an Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers jersey. No idea where he got it.

    tl;dr: I don’t think there’s thaaaat much support for the NFL in England, but there’s plenty in Europe who want to watch an NFL game either because they like it or it’s an event to cross off their bucket list.

  2. Sigh. Mr. deMause, you never have anything good to say about us, do you? I guess we’ll just have to take consolation in all that public stadium cash flowing our way year after year after year….

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