Decyfr had the privilege of covering Super Bowl LVII in Phoenix, Arizona, interviewing the best and brightest from within the NFL fraternity to help educate the UK fan base. One popular name to come across the Decyfr mic in media row during Super Bowl LVII week was Pat McAfee. The former punter for the Indianapolis Colts turned sports analyst and podcast host was on hand to tell Decyfr about the impact the London games have had on the NFL.
“I think the international growth is vital to the future of the NFL,” said McAfee.
He continued by attributing the international growth of the NFL directly to the games held in London, saying: “Everything that’s happened in London has had such a profound impact [I think] on decisions being made.
“We’re going to Germany now, how was that game? Incredible, we’re going to add another one there.”
The first regular season game played in London came in 2007 as the Miami Dolphins hosted the New York Giants at Wembley Stadium. Since then, every single franchise has visited the UK, with the legendary Green Bay Packers finally making the trip over the Atlantic last year in one of three games played in London, as has become commonplace. 2022 also saw the first regular season game played in Germany, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took on the Seattle Seahawks. As McAfee said, the success of the NFL’s maiden German voyage means two games will be played there in 2023.
The most important part of the NFL’s growth in the UK and Europe is, of course, the fans and McAfee had a special message for them as well.
“We are very thankful for all of you over there for showing the love to the game, and the league, that you guys have shown,” said McAfee.
“Because I think it is only better for the game and the league as a whole.”
The NFL’s UK fandom was on full display last year and the London Games were a huge part of this, as demonstrated by the Denver Broncos’ victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley, which saw a record attendance of 86,215 fans.
🗣️ "International growth is vital to the future of the NFL"@PatMcAfeeShow tells Decyfr about the "profound impact" of the @NFL London Games – and shares a message for UK NFL fans…#Decyfr #UnlockFandom #NFL #SBLVII pic.twitter.com/Nv8hQBkTV1
— Decyfr Sport (@DecyfrSport) February 10, 2023
Decyfr’s interview with McAfee (see above) discusses the impact of London’s previous NFL games. Looking forward, in 2023 London will welcome the NFL once again as the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium plays host to two games, one featuring the Buffalo Bills and another featuring the Tennesee Titans. Jacksonville will of course be returning to Wembley, as part of their multi-year commitment to make London a home away from home. Germany will now host two games, with the home sides set to be the New England Patriots and the Super Bowl LVII-winning Kansas City Chiefs. Follow Decyfr Sport to keep up to date with all of the NFL’s games across Europe this year.
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