The 2017 NFL season might finally present the Baltimore Ravens with a chance to play some American football across the pond.
The team is scheduled to face off against the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road next year, according to Ravens.com. Given that the Jaguars are under contract to play at least one home game in London each year until 2020, the odds are strong that Baltimore could end playing them next season at Wembley Stadium.
The NFL has been sending teams to play abroad for 11 years now. The league’s International Series officially kicked off in 2007, and Wembley has played host to all but two of those games.
The first-ever international game actually happened in 2005 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, where the Arizona Cardinals beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-14, though the NFL didn’t send any teams back to Mexico until Nov. 21 of this year, when the Oakland Raiders played the Houston Texans at the same stadium. The only game that’s been played in London not at Wembley happened this October at Twickenham Stadium, where the New York Giants took on the LA Rams.
Over the past decade, all but eight of the NFL’s 32 teams have played in London. In addition to the Ravens, the Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans haven’t been called upon to play there.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti indicated in April 2015 that he would like to bring the team overseas during a conference call with season-ticket holders, according to Ravens.com. “I think it would be great,” Bisciotti said, adding, “Hopefully it would be the time of year that we could get a lot of fans over there, whether it be near Christmas or near Thanksgiving, or September when the weather is still beautiful, even in the U.K.”
ESPN says the NFL announced last November which teams would be playing in London for the following season. Since it’s already December and we haven’t gotten an announcement, hopefully we will know pretty soon.
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