Anticipation is rising for the return of the NFL to the UK in 2024. Discover the captivating journey that makes the NFL London game day a truly authentic American football experience in the heart of London.

Since its inception, the NFL International Series has captivated fans across the globe, and the enthusiasm only grows stronger year after year.

Despite being far from its natural homestay, the passion and excitement exhibited by British fans during these momentous occasions create an unparalleled celebration of the sport.

Join us as we take you through a typical NFL London game day extravaganza, showcasing the sights, sounds and emotions felt throughout.

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NFL London Games History

NFL London seat view from the halfway line
Image: NFL London halfway seat view

The NFL International Series took off in 2007 with a blockbuster match between the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins.

Played at an almost sold-out Wembley Stadium, this single regular-season game marked the beginning of a ground-breaking event.

The growth of the NFL in Europe has been groundbreaking since that initial game. The NFL expanded the series in 2013, adding a second game. In just one year, the number grew to three, and eventually, in 2017 and 2019, reached a thrilling four games.

While the NFL experimented with hosting games at Twickenham, England's national rugby stadium, on three occasions, it didn't quite capture the perfect fit for the league.

However, since 2019, a new home for the NFL in London has emerged: the remarkable Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. This purpose-built venue boasts a fully retractable pitch, seamlessly transforming from football to American football in an astonishing 25 minutes.

Each year brings a new set of teams to London, adding anticipation and excitement. The only consistent presence is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have a special contract with Wembley Stadium, guaranteeing them one of their eight home games each season on the iconic national stage.

What teams are playing in the 2024 NFL London Games?

On Thursday 11th January, the NFL revealed that the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears & Jacksonville Jaguars had been selected as the home teams to participate in a regular-season game in London as part of the 2024 International Games.

It has since been confirmed that the Jags will play at Wembley Stadium and the Vikings & Bears at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The NFL London Game schedule has now been revealed and the fixtures are:

For more information, check out our blog post titled: NFL London Dates 2024: Schedule, Teams, Locations & How to Get Tickets.

What do fans do before a football game?

American football helmets and jerseys
Image: American football helmets and jerseys

For Americans, the day doesn’t start when they take their seat in the stadium. An NFL game day is an all-day affair, with lots to do, see and enjoy. That is no different when the party comes to the UK.

Of course, the first thing you must do if you don’t feel prepared enough is to get yourself some NFL merchandise.

There will be various vendors selling unofficial merch such as scarves and hats, but there will also be stalls around the stadium selling official merch, with shirts and such of the participating teams on sale.

The stadium store will also be selling everything you need to get fully kitted out and ready for the game.

NFL London tailgate & pre-game activities

Tailgating is a cherished tradition at authentic NFL games, but what exactly does it entail?

Before the game begins, fans gather in the stadium parking lot, transforming it into a lively venue. They unpack their cars, creating a picnic area with portable BBQs, tables, and camping chairs.

Tailgating is a pre-game celebration where fans come together to enjoy food, company, and friendly competition before entering the stadium.

When the NFL comes over the UK, there is no tailgating in the same sense as in America. People don’t set up in the car parks and have a party there.

A fan rally stage setup in London city, 2010
Image: A fan rally stage setup in London City, 2010. Picture by John Seb Barber, Flickr

Instead, official stalls are pitched up around the stadium. At Wembley, the whole walkway up to the stadium past and inside Boxpark is set up with food vendors, drinks stalls, and branded tents with activities.

The same goes for the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The whole road is closed off for vendors to set up their shop for the occasion to bring about the tailgating experience.

NFL London games food and drinks

For a truly authentic NFL game day experience, skip the usual bars and restaurants near the stadium.

The true pre-match experience comes from tailgating. There are a multitude of food trucks outside the stadium to suit everyone, from hotdogs to poke bowls, the NFL London Games have got you covered!

If you are looking for an exquisite meal before or after the game, don’t forget that you are in London, one of the greatest cities on earth. There are a plethora of fine dining options around.

Simply head further into the city to areas such as Camden, Soho, or Shoreditch, and you will find options galore for all sorts - whether you are looking for a cheap or expensive meal, something healthy or comfort food, there is something for every need.

NFL London game atmosphere

When it comes to the actual game, you truly get a sense of the unwavering support from British fans for the sport.

The energy and buzz for the game can be felt the minute you show up, but reaches an unparalleled level inside the stadium bowl which is incomprehensible without first-hand experience.

Tinie Tempah performs during halftime of the NFL London game in 2013 between the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Image: Tinie Tempah performs during halftime of the NFL London game in 2013 between the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers. Picture by Ben Sutherland, Flickr

Throughout the four quarters of the game, you are transported to an authentic American football stadium. Every attendee embraces and cherishes each moment, immersing themselves in the game and feeling the sheer passion for the sport.

What enhances this experience further is the neutral ground. Apart from Wembley, where it could be argued that the Jaguars have claimed it as their home-away-from-home, there is no home-field advantage.

What to do after the NFL London game finishes

London skyline at dusk
Image: The London skyline by dusk. Photo by Nirmal Rajendharkumar / Unsplash

While you won’t be able to stay at the stadium long after the game, plenty of fans still hang around outside celebrating the event and the winning side and ultimately still reeling from the excitement of the experience they have just witnessed.

The food and drinks stalls may be closed but the bars and pubs around and in London will only just be springing into life.

If you want to keep celebrating the sporting occasion of the day, then heading for a sports pub would be your best option.

Or if you’re looking for a big night and staying out late, there are plenty of bars and nightclubs in the city for you to party the night away in.

Party-goers enjoying the night.
Image: Party-goers enjoying the night. Photo by Axville / Unsplash

Although you won’t be in the USA, you can continue to enjoy American culture in London.

Head to the Hard Rock Café, or pop down to Shake Shack after the match to snack on some deliciously classic American burgers and fries.

To inject a little of Manhattan into your night, why not visit an American bar? Hucksters is the perfect American-style venue to enjoy drinks and even a bit of karaoke!

If you would rather experience the atmosphere of Nashville, take a trip to the Buck n Bull Saloon for rodeo bull riding, line dancing, and live country music to complete your day in true American style.

Want to experience an NFL London Game Day in VIP style?

The NFL London Games already offer an amazing experience for sports fans, but with official NFL London hospitality, you can really take your game day to a whole new level of excellence.

From the moment you enter the stadium, prepare to be greeted with warmth and exceptional service that will make you feel like a true VIP.

Whether you're celebrating a special milestone or simply looking to immerse yourself in the electrifying atmosphere, this is your chance to cheer on your favourite American football team in style.

Get up close and personal with the players as they prepare for the game ahead and even have the opportunity to meet former players. This will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience.

Hospitality experiences are now available to purchase. Given the immense popularity of the NFL London Games, tickets are expected to sell out rapidly.

Don't miss out on securing your seat! Book official hospitality packages for the New England Patriots vs Jacksonville Jaguars below or register your interest in all other fixtures.

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