Much like Thanos in “Avengers: End Game,” the Falcons sacrificing a home game on the schedule to play in London was inevitable. The Athletic has reported that there will be two regular-season NFL games played in London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this season, with the Falcons and Jaguars being the “home” teams in those games.
That does mean that Atlanta’s game in London won’t be Week 17, so that’s something.
Breaking: The Jaguars and Falcons are set to host games in London when the new NFL 2021 schedule is revealed, sources tell The Athletic. pic.twitter.com/1LNL27G7wV— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) May 11, 2021
The NFL owners voted in 2014 that teams which make a successful bid to host the Super Bowl would be required to play a London home game within five years of their successful bid.
Atlanta, which hosted Super Bowl 53 in 2019, was supposed to host a London game last season, but that did not come to fruition as the COVID-19 pandemic canceled all international games. There was no escaping the fate this coming year, however.
The last time the Falcons played in London was in 2014, when they blew a 21-0 halftime lead and lost on a last-second field goal against the Detroit Lions to fall to 2-6 on the season.
That game was played at Wembley Stadium. This time around, the grounds will be newer — Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the largest soccer stadium in London and third-largest in all of England, is a new state of the art facility opened in 2019 primarily for the use of Tottenham Hotspur F.C. It was built with a synthetic football turf underneath the retractable soccer pitch, for the specific use of NFL London games. 62,850 is the stadium capacity.
The NFL has moved to a 17-game schedule starting this coming season. The Falcons were already on the back foot, slated to play nine road games, and with a London game counted toward one of its home games Atlanta will have just seven true home games in 2021. That’s not the best situation for the team, but it is very exciting for fans abroad who will get a shot to see the team in person.
The NFL schedule will be revealed in full on Wednesday at 8 p.m. eastern time.