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11 Jan 2018

Seahawks to play Raiders in first NFL game at new Spurs stadium
BY Rob Gibson

Seattle Seahawks' quarterback Russel Wilson is heading to London to face the Oakland Raiders in Tottenham Hotspurs' new stadium

Seattle Seahawks' quarterback Russel Wilson is heading to London to face the Oakland Raiders in Tottenham Hotspurs' new stadium
photo: JIM BRYANT/UPI/PA Images

The first NFL game to be hosted at Tottenham Hotspurs’ new stadium will be the Seattle Seahawks against the Oakland Raiders on 14 October.

A total of three International Series ties – one fewer than last year – were announced via a live stream from London on the NFL’s Facebook page.

In the other match-ups, the Philadelphia Eagles will play the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans will face the LA Chargers, with the ties to be played at Wembley on either 21 or 28 October.

Organisers said the number of games this year has been reduced to test a run of three games over consecutive weeks for the first time, and to test the new stadium before hosting more games there in future.

Due to be completed in the summer, the new stadium is the first to be purpose-built for Premier League and NFL games. Designed by Populous, the 61,000-seater ground will cost up to £800m.

It will include a fully retractable pitch, revealing a second playing surface to allow each sport to play on its own dedicated pitch and to provide better sightlines for their fans.

Twickenham Stadium, which hosted its second and third NFL games last year, will not be used in 2018.

Responding to the ties, former Super Bowl winner Osi Umenyiora said: “You’ve got to give the people what they want – they wanted high-quality games and that’s been delivered to them.”

Three of the six teams who will visit the UK are still in the playoffs for this year’s Super Bowl: the Eagles, Jaguars and Titans.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said: “London is the international home of the NFL and I’m so excited that Tottenham Hotspur’s ground is going to be a fantastic new stadium for games.

“This year there will be one game here to allow the stadium to bed-in and to make sure we get it right.

“The great thing about American football is it’s a family event which often involves three generations sitting down to watch a game over several hours.

“The ultimate aim is to get a franchise here in London, but one day wouldn’t it be great if we could have a Super Bowl in London?"

Wembley has been hosting NFL games since 2007.



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