The National Football League today announced that it will return to playing International Series Games in 2021, with two games to be held at London's Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Atlanta Falcons will host the New York Jets on Sunday, October 10 and the Jacksonville Jaguars will be at home against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, October 17, with both games kicking off at 2.30 p.m. UK time (9.30 a.m. ET).
The NFL's London Games series has comprised 28 games over 13 consecutive seasons from 2007-2019. This season's games will represent the continuation of this important international initiative after the coronavirus pandemic forced all games in 2020 to be played in the United States.
This year's schedule means that fans in the UK will get to see some of the most exciting quarterbacks in the League, from the first two picks of the 2021 NFL Draft -- Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars) and Zach Wilson (Jets) -- to four-time Pro Bowler Matt Ryan of the Falcons and the Dolphins' talented play-caller Tua Tagovailoa.
"We are excited to be returning to London and welcoming back our fans for two great matchups," said Christopher Halpin, NFL Executive Vice-President -- Chief Strategy & Growth Officer. "We expect these games to be a celebration of our sport and our robust UK fan base.
"We have been working closely with the UK government, the city of London and the relevant health organisations over the past year in planning the games. Through their successful vaccine rollout and commitment to bringing crowds back to sports events, the time is right for the return of NFL football this fall. We will continue to monitor the COVID environment, putting health and safety first, and will adhere to any and all future COVID regulations and restrictions."
The UK's Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: "The NFL has become a regular fixture in the UK's brilliant sporting calendar and I'm delighted to welcome the League back to London for another season. This is a major vote of confidence in our country's progress to bring coronavirus under control and our ability to stage major sporting events safely. Our Events Research Programme is playing an important role in testing the safe return of fans and will inform our decision making on getting people back watching live sport again safely in greater numbers."
Todd Kline, Tottenham Hotspur Chief Commercial Officer, said: "We are delighted to be welcoming the NFL back to Tottenham and to host four more teams and their supporters. It will once again be a tremendous boost for London and our local economy.
"We were thrilled with the feedback we received from the NFL, its coaches, players and fans alike after our first NFL games in 2019. We shall be doing all we can to ensure we create even more great memories for all those that come to experience these two exciting contests later this year."
The Jaguars will be playing their eighth home game in London, while the Dolphins will play in the UK for the fifth time, and second time as the road team. The Falcons and Jets will both take the field in London for the second time.
"The Jaguars are honored to return to London, our home away from home, and continue in our mission to grow the NFL and promote Jacksonville in the UK and beyond," said Jaguars team owner Shad Khan. "With Urban Meyer as our head coach, we'll be arriving with an entirely new look and attitude that I'm confident will meet the approval of our Union Jax supporters. I'm also hoping that many of our loyal fans in Jacksonville can join us in London for a great experience and to ratchet up the homefield advantage. Go Jags!"
Falcons President and CEO Rich McKay said: "We're honored to return to London for the first time since 2014 as part of the NFL International Series and look forward to the world-class experience at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Our league receives great support from passionate NFL fans in the UK and we're looking to gain more Falcons fans with the trip."
Fans can register their interest in receiving ticketing information for the London Games by visiting nfl.com/uk.
The full 2021 NFL regular-season schedule will be announced later today, at 8:00 p.m. ET (1:00 a.m. UK time).