Future Stadiums & Venues

Oakland Raiders in talks over playing full 2019 season in London

NFL franchise discussing ground share with Tottenham at new stadium.

by Tom Bassam

Oakland Raiders in talks over playing full 2019 season in London

The National Football League’s (NFL) Oakland Raiders are in talks with top-flight English soccer side Tottenham Hotspur over playing a full eight-game home season next year at the Premier League club’s new home ground, according to reports.

According to the Daily Mail, the new stadium is a ‘serious contender’ to host the Raiders, who have played two games at Wembley Stadium in London as part of the NFL International Series.

Fox Sports also reports that London is an option for the Raiders, with talks in progress for them to play there next year with discussions also ongoing regarding logistics.

Spurs’ soon-to-be opened 62,000-seater Tottenham Stadium features a full artificial football surface below its retractable grass pitch as well as facilities to house an NFL franchise already built in.

The venue presents an alternative option for the Raiders who are currently without a home for the 2019 season. The lease on the Raiders’ former Oakland-Alameda Coliseum home has expired and their new stadium in Las Vegas will not be completed before the 2020 season.

Owner Mark Davis would like to stay in Oakland, but local authorities filed a lawsuit against the franchise and the NFL over the controversial move to Las Vegas.

The NFL announced in October 2019 that it will bring four regular-season games to London next year, with two at Wembley and two at Tottenham.

The NFL has not yet confirmed which teams would be taking part in the London series, or when the games will be played.

2018 saw the league stage three games in London across three straight weeks. All three games were at Wembley and drew an average crowd of 85,031. One game had been scheduled for Tottenham but it was moved because the stadium is not ready.

When Oakland authorities announced its decision to sue the Raiders, reports emerged over other potential options for the team in 2019. AT&T Park, home of Major League Baseball’s (MLB) San Francisco Giants baseball team, could provide a temporary solution; a ground share with the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara is also possible. Another mooted venue is San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium, which was vacated by the Chargers ahead of their move to Los Angeles in 2017.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has regularly talked up London as a host city for an NFL franchise. In October he said: “I feel this market, without question, could have an NFL team. There’s no question a team could be successful here.”

Tottenham did not comment when approached by the Mail.