The NFL has long been engaged to provide the sport a more global appeal.
For example, from 1991 to 2007 there was a football league in Europe, which was backed by the NFL. The last years of this competition, it was called NFL Europe and NFL Europa. Teams from Spain , United Kingdom , Germany and The Netherlands were competing for the World Bowl.
The NFL Europe was mainly a competition for young, talented players who had to gain more experience. This European competition, which had five German and one Dutch team in its last season, was lifted in 2007.
NFL International Series
To give the many football fans in Europe still the chance to see live matches in Europe, the NFL decided to also play NFL matches in London as part of the NFL International Series. On October 27, 2007, Wembley stadium had a first with the game between the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins: for the first time in history a regular season NFL game was played outside North America. This match attracted as many as 81,000 spectators from various countries in Europe.
A year later, New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers played at Wembley , while the stadium in 2009 was the scene of a duel between Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots . In the year 2010, London was the host for a NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos, while the capital of Great Britain saw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers return in 2011 for their league game against the Chicago Bears.
In 2013 there is again a first, because during this year there are two league games played at Wembley Stadium in London. In October of that year, The Minnesota Vikings take on the Pittsburgh Steelers, while the San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars games in London.
For 2014 there are three games announced in the United Kingdom: Jacksonville Jaguars will play Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons versus Detroit Lions, while the Miami Dolphins will return to London for the first time since 2007 for their NFL match against the Oakland Raiders.
Until 2016, at least one NFL game per season will be played at Wembley Stadium.