So far, every NFL game in London has been played in a stadium that was built for soccer or rugby, with American football fitting in as a square peg in a round hole. This year, that will change.
That’s because the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, though primarily a soccer field, was built with American football in mind and financed in part by the NFL. Among the features is a grass soccer field that retracts and makes way for an artificial turf football field, as well as bigger locker rooms to accommodate NFL teams.
“It really does feel like an NFL stadium today,” former Tottenham player Ledley King told ESPN after visiting the stadium on a day when the football field — with its NFL shield on the 50-yard line — was in place.
Also visiting the stadium was Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate, who was also pleased to see a real football field.
“I wasn’t really expecting this,” Brate said. “I was expecting to walk into a soccer stadium, so to see this set up is awesome and shows the commitment to growing the game here.”
This season two NFL games will be played at Tottenham, Bears-Raiders on October 6 and Panthers-Buccaneers on October 13.