As part of the American football event of the year in the UK, two of the biggest teams playing in the NFL bring their squads to London for a showcase game at Britain’s biggest and most famous football stadium at London’s Wembley Park.
As Minneapolis’ home team the Minnesota Vikings take on Pennsylvania superstars the Pittsburgh Steelers in a titanic battle as part of the NFL International Series. Since 2007, some of the most famous teams from the League have crossed the Atlantic to thrill crowds at the home of British soccer and bring expatriate Americans and enthusiastic Brits together to watch the USA’s national sport on European soil.
The Vikings come to the game at Wembley off the back of a strong performance in the 2012 season, where some pundits were touting the team as the most underrated in the NFL. Although they’ve not seen the kind of success that takes teams all the way to the Superbowl, they have made steady progress in the rankings and put in some impressive averages over the course of the past few years.
The team arrives in London after a schedule of four pre-season games against rivals across the States, with the last being against the Tennessee Titans at the Mall of America Field at the end of August.
Black and Yellow
A few years out from their last Superbowl appearance and three years away from their last championship win, the Steelers are coming to the new season hungry for wins. With stats that put the Vikings to shame, they are likely to enter the contest as clear favourites to come away with a win under their belts in front of a rapturous capacity crowd.
The team arrive in London after a thorough pre-season work-out. With a game against the Giants in early August, they will have been thoroughly tested before bringing their game over the Atlantic.
In the five years that the International Series has been running, the NFL games have seen capacity crowds at Wembley getting behind the teams and enjoying the good ol’ fashioned American atmosphere. Converting the stadium from a soccer pitch to a football field brings a totally different feel to the place, and for the duration of the four periods of play it’s like a little piece of the USA in the heart of London.
In the bleachers
As a limited edition special event, tickets for the game are in high demand and sell out incredibly quickly. The basic tickets for the game have all gone already and only returns are available as they come in. For the full-on hospitality experience, packages are still on offer in Wembley’s Diamond and Sapphire Hospitality areas, giving fans the chance to fully immerse themselves in the experience as a VIP guest. Hospitality package guests can expect to enjoy top-notch food and drink, an excellent view of the game and a real experience to remember.
Attendees at the game can expect a real dose of all-American sports fanaticism as fans dress up in their Helga Helmets and black-and-yellow jerseys to watch their teams take each other on in this one-off game in London.
The International Series has proven to be a real draw for expat NFL fanatics and British sports fans intrigued by the spectacle of a full-on American Football game on London soil. With the Vikings and the Steelers pitted against one another in the UK’s biggest stadium, fans are bound to get a great show and raise the roof.