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NFL to new Tottenham stadium by 2018?

New Tottenham Spurs stadium

A report has an NFL team sharing a new Tottenham stadium, scheduled to open for the 2018-2019 season — an arrangement that could add a million pounds per game to the Spurs’ bottom line.

That the NFL has been working toward a London-based franchise is no secret: the team has scheduled multiple games at Wembley Stadium (three this past season) to great financial success in recent years, and league officials have said hinted that we could see a team there by 2018 or so. That coincides perfectly with the opening of a new 56,000-seat Spurs stadium, which is in final stages of approval — as pointed out in the Daily Telegraph:

The Football Association is interested in making Wembley the London base for an NFL franchise, but may struggle to accommodate a season of eight matches without moving England out. That leaves the possibility of an NFL franchise splitting their games between Wembley and Tottenham’s new stadium….

The biggest challenge for the NFL in wanting to use Tottenham’s new stadium would be ensuring the pitch was not damaged as a result.

England manager Roy Hodgson complained about the Wembley surface after two NFL games were played on it ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia. Tottenham would need a design that protects the grass by allowing them to incorporate a sliding artificial pitch for NFL games. A Spurs spokesman said: “We are not in discussions with the NFL regarding the use of the stadium for an NFL franchise.”

Of course, this is all very preliminary: there’s been no final decision on an NFL London franchise (for a team owner looking to move the team, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan has been spending a lot on stadium upgrades) and the new Spurs stadium is far from a done deal. And splitting a season between two venues is not the ideal situation for an NFL team that will need to work hard to establish a brand.

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