Ever since the 1980s, American football has enjoyed increased popularity outside of the United States. Seeing a clear opportunity to expand the market, the NFL decided to test out the American Bowl series, which involved several teams playing pre-season games in countries such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Spain and even as far away as Japan.
Although the American Bowl series eventually died out in 1997, the premise was later revived and improved upon. Starting in 2007, the NFL began hosting regular-season games at Wembley Stadium in London. The new games offer European fans as exciting an experience as they would receive in the U.S., complete with tailgate parties, cheerleaders and serious games, but right in their own backyards. Once again, England’s interest in the sport was sparked, and ever since, games have been played in London more and more frequently.
This year, three regular-season NFL games are being offered in London, and Sports Travel and Tours holds your tickets to see each one! The first game, scheduled for early October, pins the Miami Dolphins against the New York Jets.
While the Dolphins have played in London twice previously, the experience will be entirely new for the Jets. According to an article on the NFL’s blog, the match between the two AFC East teams will also mark the first time a divisional game is played in London.
The Game Plan: Travelers will arrive in London on Thursday, Oct. 1. After exploring the city for two days, on Sunday they will have the opportunity to attend Sports Travel and Tours’ exclusive fan party and watch the Dolphins take on the Jets at Wembley Stadium. The flight back to the U.S. will leave the following day, Monday, Oct. 5. Check out more details of the trip here.
Play by Play: At the bare minimum, the trip includes: five days and four nights hotel accommodations with daily breakfast, access to the pre-game fan party, lower-level sideline game tickets, transportation to and from the airport, an extensive sightseeing tour and 24-hour trip assistance.
Travelers will stay at London’s Hotel Novotel, a four-star hotel located just 400-feet and a short two-minute walking distance from Wembley Stadium. The Novotel offers a fitness centre (yes, it’s spelled with an “re” in England) and on-site dry cleaning for pay. The hotel’s restaurant and bar, Elements, treats travelers to exceptional international cuisine and 24-hour room service. At Elements, guests can kick-start each day with an extensive buffet breakfast.
Friday and Saturday will be spent touring the city on a double-decker open-top bus. Travelers will get to see all of London’s most famous landmarks, although they have the freedom to stop and explore at their own pace as well. And if you choose to go it on your own and then decide that was a bad idea, you can rejoin the tour as buses run every 10 to 20 minutes between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tourists also get to swap out the bus for a boat during a 30-minute cruise on the River Thames, which is included in every tour.
Additionally, travelers have the opportunity to extend their trip with pre- and/or post-trip nights at the Hotel Novotel. Or, should they want to explore more of Europe, there is an additional option to visit Paris. For only $350 per person, guests can spend an extra day touring the illustrious city of love.
Learn more about the Dolphins vs. Jets trip to London.