POSTED: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 8:12am
UPDATED: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 8:21am
NFL Press Release — The 2014 International Series games are set and an unprecedented six teams will play a regular-season game in London next season.
The Jaguars will host the Cowboys, the Falcons will host the Lions and the Raiders will host the Dolphins at London’s Wembley Stadium next season.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed the match-ups today at a luncheon with sports journalists in London. The dates and times of the games will be announced at a later date.
“Our fans in the UK continue to demonstrate their passion for more football,” Goodell said. “Next year for the first time we will play three regular-season games in London. We have scheduled three attractive games with four teams playing in their first International Series game. The growing enthusiasm for the NFL internationally is exciting and we look forward to continuing to respond to this interest in our game.”
The Jaguars, who face the San Francisco 49ers in London on Sunday, committed to playing a home game in the UK in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, all at Wembley. Miami will make its second visit to London for a regular-season game after hosting the New York Giants in the inaugural International Series contest in 2007. Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, and Oakland will all play their first international regular-season game next season.
The International Series has increased NFL fan interest in the UK, with a current fan base of more than 12 million, including 2.5 million avid fans, a 30 percent increase in avid fans in the past two years.
The Minnesota Vikings’ thrilling 34-27 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in London on September 29 drew a crowd of 83,518 to Wembley. The day before, more than 520,000 people attended a football festival on London’s famed Regent Street, enjoying football-themed games and attractions, including visits from Vikings’ and Steelers’ players and coaches.
Television ratings have shown substantial growth in the UK since 2006 – with Sunday viewership of NFL games almost doubling and the Super Bowl audience having increased 75 percent. The league also has developed new and stronger business partnerships.
Participation in amateur football in the UK has risen since the start of the International Series, growing by approximately 15 percent per year since 2007.