The Atlanta Falcons, along with the Oakland Raiders and the Jacksonville Jaguars, have been selected by the NFL to host games in London's Wembley Stadium in 2014. The dates and opponents will be announced at a later date.
The NFL continues to focus on building an international presence, which is the reason for featuring a few games each season in Wembley Stadium. Since the Falcons will host the matchup, it is considered to be a home game for the Falcons, which means that one less game will be played in the Georgia Dome next season. The Falcons, and the Georgia Dome, are reimbursed for the lost revenue resulting from an international game.
For season ticket holders, this means that the renewal package for 2013 will be a little less expensive. Season ticket holders will have the option to purchase up to four tickets for the London game separately, but the season ticket packages for 2014 will be priced to reflect two home preseason games, and just seven home games.
This will be the first time the NFL has hosted three games in one season in London. The 2012 season featured two games in Wembley Stadium. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says that the reason for the increase in games played in the United Kingdom is to attract more fans to the NFL. Both 2012 games scheduled in Wembley Stadium sold out quickly, according to Goodell.
By the time this game rolls around, it won't be the Falcons' first regular season international experience. They will play the Buffalo Bills in Toronto, Canada on December 1, 2013. The Falcons have also played two preseason games in Tokyo, Japan, in 2000 and 2005, respectively.
Teams are selected for the London games based on several criteria. The NFL selects teams that they think will be appealing to an international audience, and they choose teams that want to raise their profile, both nationally and internationally. Because the Falcons will be the home team, the branding and atmosphere in Wembley will be adjusted to create a Falcons-friendly environment.
For more details on how the 2014 game in London will impact season ticket holders, these frequently asked questions from the Falcons' website are very helpful.
Judging by the geographic diversity of our readers at the Falcoholic, the Falcons have a great deal of support overseas. Hopefully some of our United Kingdom and European Falcons fans will get to enjoy this "home" game in London. What do you think about the Falcons being selected to play a game in Wembley next season?
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