As part of the National Football League’s International Series, the Atlanta Falcons have been selected as one of three teams to host a regular season home game in London’s Wembley Stadium during the 2014 season.
The two other NFL clubs that will host games in the UK in 2014 are the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders. Dates and opponents for all three games will be announced by the NFL later this season.
Atlanta’s trip to the UK will mark the first time in the club’s 47-year history that it has played in London. The Falcons played a pre-season game in Tokyo, Japan in 2000 and 2005, defeating the Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts, respectively, at the Tokyo Dome.
Announced during the NFL’s owners meeting Tuesday in Washington, D.C., the Falcons will be part of the NFL’s expansion from two regular season games in 2013 to three regular season games in 2014.
“Our fans in the UK have continued to demonstrate that they love football and want more,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. “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.”
“We are excited and honored to serve as ambassadors for our city, our state, and the National Football League,” said Falcons owner and chairman Arthur M. Blank. “Playing in London will provide tremendous exposure to our team, as well as provide the opportunity to showcase the great international city of Atlanta. We are looking forward to representing the NFL on a global stage by playing in historic Wembley Stadium in what we are sure will be an entertaining game for NFL fans everywhere.”
“Our coaches and players are excited about this opportunity," Falcons head coach Mike Smith said. "We are so fortunate to coach, play and be a part of the greatest game in America. Playing a regular season game outside of the United States is an opportunity to share the NFL game day experience with fans in the UK, and to showcase NFL football globally.”