Game Time: Traveling to London for an NFL Game
Not every team makes it to the Super Bowl, but if you’re lucky, your team may be selected to play across the pond! For the 2018 season, there are three games set to take place in London. The Seattle Seahawks open the London game series against the Oakland Raiders at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The other four teams, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Jacksonville Jaguars, will play at Wembley Stadium.
The first NFL game in London took place in 2007 between the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins. Since then, 29 of the 32 NFL teams have competed in London. The Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers are the only teams who have yet to play in the U.K. While all games up to this point have been held at Wembley Stadium, the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders will be the first NFL teams to play in the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
How do I get to Wembley Stadium for an NFL game?
Teams typically play in Wembley Stadium, which is just outside of London. It is recommended to stay closer to London and take the tube to the stadium. The area around Wembley is more residential than the city. Three tube lines allow for easy access to the stadium. Two lines, Metropolitan and Jubilee, stop at Olympic way. Olympic way feeds into the stadium. For a shorter walk, try taking Tilton railway from the Marylebone station. Make sure to allow extra time for transportation and security.
What kind of bag can I bring to Wembley Stadium?
Being aware of the bag policy at Wembley is very important! If you bring an unapproved bag, you may have to empty its contents into a clear plastic bag and leave your bag outside of the stadium with either a stadium service tent or donation box. Wembley has implemented the clear bag policy similar to the NFL requirements in the states. You can bring the following:
- Clear tote measuring 12” x 6” x 12”
- 1-gallon freezer plastic bag
- Small clutch or wallet that is the size of your hand
You may carry in both an approved clear bag and clutch. If you have additional medications or medical devices, you will be screened through a separate security entrance.
You will not go hungry at Wembley; the stadium boasts over 650 food and drink stands. The bars and pubs around the area are limited and are crowded for games. Tailgating is an American tradition, so you will not see people grilling or drinking outside. The closest thing to tailgating are the food trucks lining the streets leading up to the stadium, which is still an awesome experience, so definitely stop along the way.
Activities Around the NFL Games in London
If you are in London on Saturday, there is a huge celebration on Regent Street. The street is filled with live music, fans, games, and the chance to meet NFL cheerleaders. If you cannot make it to the game, the NFL has a free party at Wembley Stadium that starts at 9:30 am. In previous years, the party hosted interactive exhibits, NFL hall of fame players and live music. It has a similar feel to a smaller version of the Super Bowl village.
If you are traveling to London with a family or group, there are plenty of ways to see the city before the big game. Harry Potter fans go crazy over the studio tour experience. Tickets sell out several months in advance, so be sure to make arrangements prior to your trip. “Hop on hop off” bus tours are popular in London and all over Europe. They are an easy way to see multiple sites throughout the city. Watch an iconic changing of the guard at the queen’s residence at Buckingham Palace. Is the queen home? Keep an eye out for the royal standard flag on the flagpole. A flying royal standard means that the queen is at home in London.
What to Pack for the NFL Games in London
Weather in October in London is mild with a chance of rain. Temperatures average around 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Pack clothing with light layers to stay comfortable. A light weight rain jacket is easier to pack and less bulky than carrying around an umbrella.
No matter which route you take to get to the stadium, you will have some major walking to do once you arrive. Pack comfortable shoes. The tube will be crowded, and you may not be guaranteed a seat. Plus, we know your team is going to destroy their opponent. You’ll be jumping up and down cheering with Americans and Brits alike!
When you’re preparing for a huge trip overseas, the last thing you want to prepare for is an unexpected illness or injury. Your partner may slip and fall on a walking tour before the game. Even worse, you may come down with strep throat. It can be overwhelming to be in another country with a different healthcare system than your home country. IMG’s Patriot Travel plan provides you with coverage and protection for sudden and unexpected illness and injury. You get to experience game day with the peace of mind knowing that in an unexpected scenario, you will be protected and have support.
Most countries require six months of passport validity. The UK does not hold this requirement. However, we recommend that you always travel with a minimum of six months validity. You can expedite your passport renewal by renewing it in person at a designated office or mail your old passport in for a $60 fee.
Be sure to bookmark this page or pin this to your Pinterest board for future use because London is close to landing an NFL team for good! It is rumored that the mayor of London has met several times with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the NFL commissioner. This has been in the works for over ten years. An NFL team may call Wembley home sooner than you think.
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