In November, it was announced that the Atlanta Falcons would play an international home game during the 2020 regular season. It’s been unclear where the team would officially play, but all signs are now pointing to London. Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank spoke with Oliver Wilson of talkSport.com about the team possibly playing in London next season.
“The NFL has had great experiences in London. Every game has sold out and the fans are full of energy, no matter who’s playing there,” Blank said. “Facilities are outstanding, so I really couldn’t be happier that we’re going back. We had a weird ending to the last game, we lost on the last play of the last game against the Lions, but we’re still looking forward to coming back. I think we’re playing against the Broncos, I think from what I’ve heard. I’m not sure, so we’ll see. But we’re excited about it.”
As Blank referenced, the last time the Falcons played in London was against the Detroit Lions during the 2014 regular season, where the Falcons lost at the last moment 21-22. Although the Falcons will lose a home game, the opportunity to build your brand overseas is something most owners are likely open to.
“Well, I think the league is committed to growing internationally,” Blank said. “We have had a great experience in London. We’ve had a great experience in Mexico. We’ll probably be looking at some games in Canada I guess, at some point as well. Maybe other cities in Europe as well. The league is in a great position, we love our international growth and the international market. We should only be so lucky to have the same experiences we have in London.”
This isn’t a concrete fact, but it seems like a London home game is in the works for the Falcons next season in October. This is the first time Blank has said as much, even if he doesn’t seem quite certain, but there have been reports and rumors for the past couple of months about this exact possibility.
Denver Broncos president Joe Ellis mentioned two months ago that he put in a personal request to play the Falcons in London. It’s still possible that the Falcons could play their international home game in Mexico City, but that remains to be seen. If it’s not against the Broncos as heavily expected, the other possible opponents are the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, and Seattle Seahawks. The game will not be a divisional game.