The US and UK flags unfurled at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium at the 2023 NFL London Games

NFL designated teams announced for 2024 London Games

The NFL designated teams for the London and Munich 2024 International Games have been announced, as the world’s biggest league returns to the capital.

Suiting up for action in the UK will be the Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings, while the Carolina Panthers will visit Germany for the first time.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the only purpose-built NFL stadium outside of the USA, will welcome the young superstars of the Vikings and Bears.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars will return to the iconic Wembley stadium for a record-extending 12th trip to London.

Across the channel, the Allianz Arena – home of Bayern Munich – will host its second-ever NFL regular season game and just the fourth-ever NFL contest in Germany overall.

Each designated team’s opponents, as well as the dates and kick-off times for each match, will be unveiled when the full 2024 NFL schedule is released in spring.

On bringing the NFL to London for the 17th year in a row, NFL UK general manager Henry Hodgson said: “We look forward to welcoming these three teams to London for what promises to be another exciting slate of International Games in the UK in 2024.

“We are delighted to see the commitment to bringing the very best of the NFL to fans in the U.K. continue.

“Together with the Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings we are excited to continue to give fans exceptional gameday memories as the NFL comes to the capital next season.” 

What can fans expect from the designated London teams

Superstars Trevor Lawrence, Justin Jefferson and Justin Fields are all expected to make appearances at the NFL London games in 2024.

All three of the London NFL designated teams feature an ultra-recognisable franchise star and fans will keenly await the chance to see some of the faces of the league in person.

The Jaguars have built substantial roots in London through their agreement to play one ‘home game’ in Wembley every year, which has been in effect since 2013.

Behind 2021 first-overall pick and ‘generational prospect’, quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the Jaguars will hope to build on the pair of victories they secured in London in 2023.

Jaguars owner Shad Khan said: “We certainly owe a debt of thanks to the thousands of fans in the UK, Ireland and throughout Europe who have made the Jaguars their NFL team.

“In all, we’ve established a strong Jaguars tradition in London that our fans and followers celebrate every day of the year.

“That tradition continues next season when the Jaguars return to London, and we can’t wait to see everyone once again in Wembley Stadium, our home away from home.” 

Despite not having their most successful seasons, both finishing 2023 with a record of 7-10, the Bears and Vikings both have plenty for fans to get excited about.

For the Vikings, that comes in the form of the electric wide-receiver Justin Jefferson, who is one of them most recognisable figures in the sport.

For the Bears, that might be dynamic quarterback Justin Fields, or it could be a highly touted prospect they select with the first-overall pick in this year’s draft.

Why is the NFL so keen to leave an impression on London?

First and foremost, the International Series has been phenomenally successful for the NFL, with tickets frequently selling out in just two days, nine months in advance.

This past year of NFL London games was no different, with the match between the Jaguars and the Atlanta Falcons filling 85,716 of a possible 90,000 Wembley seats.

Even more impressively, the 62,850 capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was twice filled to the brim, with the Jaguars-Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens-Tennessee Titans games reaching attendances of 61,273 and 61,091 respectively.

It’s not just the matches themselves that have attracted UK NFL supporters, with a fan-event held at Battersea Power Station in October 2023 also drawing sizeable crowds.

How else is the NFL looking to expand?

Ever since the NFL added an additional 17th game to its regular season, the league has looked to use some of the additional games created to expand internationally.

Currently, up to four NFL designated teams give up what would otherwise be an extra home game on their schedule to play in a match abroad.

Following a vote by its member franchises, the NFL has also now agreed to double the number of international games it schedules each year from four to eight, beginning in 2025.

Alongside this, the league launched its Global Markets Program in 2022, giving specific teams exclusive promotional rights in various international territories.

For the UK, these teams include the Bears, Vikings and Jaguars, as well as the Miami Dolphins, the New York Jets, the San Francisco 49ers and the Pittsburgh Steelers (in Northern Ireland only).

Combined, these initiatives will see the NFL visit a plethora of new countries for the first time in the coming years.

In 2024 alone, the NFL will make its maiden voyage to South America, with a game to be played in the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Peter O’Reilly, executive vice president, club business, international and league events of the NFL, offered a broader perspective on the aims of the International Series.

He said: “Taking our game to more fans around the world is a major priority for the league and its 32 teams.

“Whether tackle or flag football, international passion for the game and the NFL continues to grow, and having our teams and their world-class athletes play games and engage with fans around the world is an important part of becoming a truly global sport.”

Feature image and graphics courtesy of NFL UK

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