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Dublin: 17 °C Sunday 20 May, 2018

NFL to play three games in London in 2014

Jaguars, Falcons and Raiders to all host a game next season.

Oakland Raiders fans are known for dressing up at games.
Oakland Raiders fans are known for dressing up at games.
Image: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP/Press Association Images

AS NFL SUPPORT on this side of the Atlantic continues to grow, the league has responded by adding a third Wembley game in the 2014 season.

The Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders will each host a game next year but the specifics, such as dates and opponents, are yet to be decided.

“Our fans in the UK have continued to demonstrate that they love football and want more,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said at a league meeting today.

“Both of this year’s games in London sold out quickly.  The fan enthusiasm for our sport continues to grow.  By playing two games in the UK this year, we are creating more fans.  We hope that with three games in London next year we will attract even more people to our game.”

This year, the Minnesota Vikings’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 Regent Street.

Television ratings have also shown substantial growth in the UK since 2006 – with Sunday viewership of NFL games almost doubling and the Super Bowl audience having increased by 75%.

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Steve O'Rourke

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