In July 2015, the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (a soccer team) in the Premier League and the NFL reached an agreement for a minimum of two NFL games per year to be played at the squad’s beautiful new stadium in north London. According to the Club, “The stadium features a retractable grass field with an artificial surface underneath that will be used for NFL games. Both sports (soccer and American football) have dedicated facilities ensuring that the new stadium, designed with a focus on atmosphere, will deliver the optimum experience for both teams and fans.”
The Chicago Bears will play the Oakland Raiders on October 6, 2019, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Will it be one of the most interesting NFL games played in London to date?
As NFL fans know, one the most controversial moves last year by new Raiders Head Coach John Gruden was to trade linebacker Khalil Mack to Chicago for two 2019 first round draft picks. The Raiders have the 4th, 24th and 27th pick in the first round. The Raiders also acquired controversial wide receiver Antonio Brown from the Steelers.
In the AFC, Oakland was at the bottom of the heap last year at 4-12. The Bears had a lot of potential contending teams scared when their defense started to preform as world-call and helped deliver a 12-4 mark for their season. Unfortunately for the new Monsters of the Midway, they lost a squeaker to the Eagles, 16-15, in the Wild Card playoff game.
Talent acquisitions this year ought to see a much improved Raiders team in London, but how much improvement is the question. One thing for sure is that the game will be very marketable overseas and ought to have a huge following here on television.
I am one of those that sees the Mack trade as a good one for both teams. Oakland is building as they are preparing to move to Las Vegas.