NFL International Series
The NFL International Series was introduced in 2005 as a way of expanding the NFL brand into new markets around the world. American Football is becoming increasingly popular in other countries outside of North America and in a move to increase the profile of the sport, it was announced that a series of regular season games would be played outside of the United States.
Previously, the only NFL matches that had taken place overseas were as part of the American Bowl Series, which was popular during the 1980s and 90s and saw pre season games played between two franchises in neutral venues in countries including the UK and Germany to as far a field as Japan and Australia.
The first game of the International Series game took place on October 2nd 2005 when the Arizona Cardinals took on the San Fransico 49ers at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. A record crowd for an NFL game of over 103,000 witnessed the Cardinals defeat the 49ers 31 -14 in a game that was deemed a huge success.
The second game of the International Series saw the NFL move to Europe with Wembley Stadium, London, the chosen venue for the game between the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants on October 28th 2007. Following the success of this game, the NFL announced that a regular season game would played in the UK each year until 2016, starting in 2008 with the game between the New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers.
The 2008 saw the first regular season game played in Canada where the Buffalo Bills have since played one home game per season in Toronto, also part of the International Series.
International Series Games & Results
- 2nd October, 2005, Estadio Azteca, Mexico City: San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals. Arizona won 31-14.
- 28th October, 2007, Wembley Stadium, London: New York Giants @ Miami Dolphins. New York won 13-10.
- 26th October 2008, Wembley Stadium, London: San Diego Chargers @ New Orleans Saints. New Orleans won 37-32.
- 7th December 2008, Rogers Centre, Toronto: Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills. Miami won 16-3.
- 25th October 2009, Wembley Stadium, London: New England Patriots @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers. New England won 35-7.
- 3rd December 2009, Rogers Centre, Toronto: New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills. New York won 19-13.
- 31st October 2010, Wembley Stadium, London: Denver Broncos @ San Francisco 49ers. San Francisco won 24-16.
- 7th November 2010, Rogers Centre, Toronto: Chicago Bears @ Buffalo Bills. Chicago won 24-18.
- 23rd October 2011, Wembley Stadium, London. Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Chicago won 24-18.
- 30th October 2011, Rogers Centre, Toronto: Washington Redskins @ Buffalo Bills. Buffalo won 23-0.
- 28th October 2012, Wembley Stadium, London: New England Patriots @ St Louis Rams.