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Tottenham and NFL Agree to Host at Least 2 Games Per Season at New Stadium

Published by Bleacher Report on Wed, 08 Jul 2015

Tottenham Hotspur and the NFL announced a 10-year partnership on Wednesday that will see Spurs host at least two annual games at their new London stadium, set to open in 2018.The new ground will have an artificial turf installed beneath a retractable grass field, making it easier to schedule matches, while facilities will be installed to accommodate both sports.Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the news via the NFL's official website, saying:With growing enthusiasm for the NFL in the United Kingdom, we are committed to hosting NFL games in world-class venues and are excited to partner with Tottenham Hotspur to play games at their future stadium. We share a vision and commitment to creating the best experience for our teams, fans and the local community.Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy also commented on the news, via the club's official Twitter account:The NFL has been playing regular matches in London for several years and seeks to expand further into the British market, but playing more fixtures at Wembley Stadium would not have been an option. Last year, England manager Roy Hodgson expressed his frustration with the English Football Association, as the multitude of matches left the Wembley pitch in poor condition.As reported by the Guardian's Daniel Taylor, he said:I am a football coach, a football manager, and I am talking about English football, not American football. I dont really think you could expect me to say: Excellent, delighted, well done. Im realistic, Im pragmatic and this match [on Sunday] has been organised for a period of time. The pitch, unfortunately, is not in the best of nick anyway, which were all a bit unhappy with.Such a problem would not occur at the new Spurs ground, however, where the retractable grass field can simply be removed when the NFL comes to town.The Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson shared some more details on the funding of the new arena, with one interesting name undoubtedly stealing the headlines:Spurs are currently seeking funding for their 400 million stadium project and have been making positive progress, although negotiations over naming rights are likely to be critical.Various banks and investment funds are looking at the possibility of becoming involved and there have been rumours, both in the city and the United States, that Mark Zuckerberg, chairman and chief executive of Facebook, could be involved with a group of Californian investors. Spurs have stressed that they are not in takeover talks with anyone.The new stadium would give the NFL the opportunity to expand the current schedule, which features two overseas matches every year, and he would make it easier to begin discussions regarding the relocation of a franchise to England's capital.ESPN's Kevin Seifert certainly believes so:If the new grounds feature full facilities for both sports, it makes too much sense not to at least consider the possibility. The previous matches at Wembley Stadium were a rousing success with the fans, and at this point in time, it's not impossible to believe a permanent franchise in London could work.Follow @ReverschPass
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