Five Jacksonville jaguars flags being flown at Wembley arena. The flags are light blue with an image of a jaguar on them.

Wembley NFL Game Brings in Global Fan Base

85,176 fans from around the world attended Wembly Stadium last Sunday (October 1st) for a different type of football game than the stadium was built for: an American Football game. 

National Football League (NFL) games have been played every year at Wembley Stadium since 2007, with the Jacksonville Jaguars signing a multi-year deal in 2012.

Sunday’s game was a special anniversary, marking ten years of Jaguars games at Wembley.   

Thousands of animated football fans packed the Jubilee and Metropolitan lines up to Wembley Park to see the Jaguars face off against the Atlanta Falcons. 

In the stands were people from all over Europe, who wanted a chance to see American Football close to home, alongside people from the US who wanted an excuse for a trip to London. 

Fans who took the North West Londoner’s survey at Wembley revealed the truly global extent of NFL fandom. 

map of the world with pins in places that people travelled from. There is a teal pin for Jacksonville, Florida. A navy pin for Los Angeles. A forest green pin for Cologne, Germany. A turquise pin for Frankfurt, Germany. A purple pin for Naples, Italy. An orange pin for Paris, France. And a light green pin for Galway, Ireland.
TOUCHDOWN: How far respondents to the NW Londoner Survey travelled to the game

These fans included Michael Clark, 28, who currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and realised he could combine seeing his team play with visiting his family back in London.

A US Navy officer stationed in Naples, Italy saw the game as his chance to watch the NFL only a few hours away from his Navy base.

Other fans travelled from closer shores, such as Katy Morris, 38, an American Football fan from Middlesbrough, and Nick Handley, who travelled in from West Sussex for the game. 

The global nature of the fandom was highlighted further when it came time to chant the Jacksonville Jaguar’s titular cheer “Duval” – a cheer which is actually just the name of the Florida county Jacksonville is situated in.

Who would have expected a crowd of 85,176 people, from Germany to Middlesbrough, to know about Duval County, North Florida?

In 2023, that’s how far the NFL reaches.

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