American Football

NFL London games 2022: Schedule, ticket details and Packers debut

By Graham Shaw

Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers NFL London Games 2022

Published: 12:20, 12 July 2022 | Updated: 10:31, 1 August 2022

The NFL is now a significant part of British sporting culture in 2022 and having multiple regular-season games in London each season just adds to the appeal.

From small beginnings in the early 80s with the occasional pre-season game, the league has come a long way in the UK a relatively short period.

NFL action first started airing on Channel 4 in 1982, and with a selection of highlights as well as live Super Bowl rights, the game quickly developed a loyal fanbase.

Such was the rapid growth that the NFL soon staged a pre-season game in London in 1986. The Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears defeated the Dallas Cowboys in front of a massive crowd at the old Wembley Stadium.

Branded the ‘American Bowl, ’ Wembley intermittently hosted a select preseason game between 1986 and 1993. Players like Walter Payton, Joe Montana, and John Elway starred in various showpiece events. 

The games developed the NFL’s fledgling popularity before Sky Sports picked up the TV rights in 1995. The marriage between Sky’s popularity and the NFL’s primetime Sunday viewing slot worked magnificently.

The NFL quickly became a staple of sports fans’ Sunday evenings, and the fledgling popularity transitioned into a legitimate movement. The NFL was here to stay, and in 2007 the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins played the first regular-season game in London.

The enthusiasm and demand brought the NFL back in 2008. And in 2009, and every year since, bar 2020. Such was the ticket demand and thirst for NFL; the league initially added a second game before increasing the total to three in 2014. The London games are back in 2022, with three more big games scheduled.

NFL London games 2022: Who is playing?

Just like in 2021, the NFL 2022 International Series will feature three London games across two stadiums. Some familiar faces will return to London while some green and gold-clad superstars will make their London debuts:

October 2, 2022: Minnesota Vikings vs New Orleans Saints

Kickoff: 1430 UK

Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

With two new head coaches in situ and a slew of offensive stars like Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, Jarvis Landry, and Mike Thomas on show, this all-NFC clash could entertain fans royally. After both clubs missed out on a playoff spot in 2021, they’ll be fiercely determined to gain the edge in a crowded conference.

October 9, 2022: New York Giants vs Green Bay Packers

Kickoff: 1430 UK

Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Another all-NFC clash pits a team which played in the first regular-season London game against the last team to make the trip. The Green Bay Packers finally make their London debut, and they will play the New York Giants. Rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux has the X-Factor for Big Blue, while four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers could dazzle in what should be his only London game experience. That is well worth the price of the ticket alone.

October 30, 2022: Denver Broncos vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Kickoff: 1330 UK

Venue: Wembley Stadium

The final NFL London game in 2022 pits two teams desperate for better seasons with the Russell Wilson-led Denver Broncos taking on the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars’ roster boasts the last two players drafted first overall. Young star Trevor Lawrence and rookie Travon Walker will be two crucial players for Doug Pederson’s team.

NFL London tickets – how to buy them, and the prices

International Series season ticket holders got their first opportunity to snap up tickets for the games at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20. Premium seating went on sale to season ticket holders two days later. June 30 saw new season tickets go on sale. The window to buy new season tickets closed on July 12. Single-game tickets are available from July 26. 

The ticket process for the Wembley game is slightly different. Union Jax and Jacksonville Jaguars season tickets went on sale on June 21. Wembley Stadium season ticket holders had the earliest window to purchase tickets. That window closed on June 6. Single-game tickets went on sale on June 30. 

The NFL has its own eTicketing platform for ticket sales. However, resale outlets such as StubHub will resell tickets on their sites. Fans should be careful, however, as these prices are often much higher than buying through official channels. 

How to watch the London games on TV

All three NFL London games are televised live on British TV.

Sky Sports will exclusively broadcast two games, while the BBC will carry the other. Due to the exclusivity, fans won’t be able to watch these games live on NFL GamePass.

Nevertheless, both channels will provide fans with flexible viewing options on mobile and smart devices. Two fixtures will kick off at 14:30, while one will start at 13:30. US networks will televise the game in their domestic market with kickoffs either at 0930 Eastern or 0830.

Will there be an NFL franchise in London one day?

During the buildup to the London games, chatter always revolves around the possibility of a London-based franchise.

The NFL likes destination cities; the three most recently relocated teams left San Diego, St. Louis, and Oakland for Los Angeles and Las Vegas. A club in London would be another considerable addition to the league.

Rumours have suggested that the NFL desires a London-based team by 2025. The Jacksonville Jaguars are currently the best-placed franchise to make a move. The Jags are the designated ‘home’ team for the International Series.

Furthermore, the Jaguars have played a London game in eight of the last nine seasons, with the COVID-affected 2020 season the only year they missed. Owner Shahid Khan already owns English soccer club Fulham FC and had been linked with a move to buy Wembley Stadium. 

Khan has previously stated that a permanent move to London would be financially lucrative and has even contemplated building a training facility in London. If an NFL side were to relocate, the Jaguars would surely be at the front of the queue.

How long has the NFL been playing games in London?

While the first regular-season London game happened in 2007, the first-ever NFL game to be played in London occurred way back in August 1986 when the Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears played the Dallas Cowboys at the old Wembley Stadium.

The Bears won that pre-season matchup 17-6 as a sellout crowd of nearly 80,000 watched superstar players such as Walter Payton, William Perry, and Mike Singletary in action.

Standing tickets that night cost just £5 – a stark contrast to the hundreds of pounds fans can pay to watch the games now. 

The first regular-season London game happened on a soggy October 28, 2007. The newly reopened Wembley Stadium hosted the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins. The weather conditions made for a turgid game, and 81,000 fans watched the Giants triumph over the Dolphins 13-10.

While the game was not a thrill-a-minute affair, it helped the Giants’ win-loss record. Tom Coughlin’s side crept into the playoffs with a 9-7 record before riding a tidal wave of momentum to Super Bowl 42, where they bested the undefeated New England Patriots.

Stars such as Eli Manning, Hall of Famer Michael Strahan, and British-born Osi Umenyiora headlined the Giants’ roster for that initial London game.

Has every NFL team played in London?

Since the maiden NFL London game in 2007, 31 teams have visited the UK, which leaves just one.

Only the Green Bay Packers have so far abstained from flying across the Atlantic Ocean, but that will change in 2022.

The most successful team in NFL history, with arguably the biggest global fanbase, will play in front of their British fans for the first time.

The Packers’ arrival will mark a significant moment for the NFL and its British expansion. After that game, all 32 franchises will have sampled the British atmosphere and passion for the game.

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