NFL announces three games at Wembley in 2014, Jags, Falcons and Raiders confirmed

NFL At Wembley

As well as the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Oakland Raiders and Atlanta Falcons will host games at Wembley in 2014.

The NFL has stepped up its bold bid to plant firm roots in the UK, by announcing three regular season games will be played in London in 2014, according to Sky Sports.

The league is expanding its international series to include the Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders, along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are already contracted for four games in London.

Each team will host a game at Wembley next season in what is a risky move by the NFL. The popularity of the game has certainly increased dramatically in the UK.

For those of us who can remember watching condensed highlights of Sunday's games Monday nights on Channel 4, this is certainly a golden period for UK NFL fans.

The level of coverage has never been as comprehensive. Sky Sports offers regular double-headers, as well as screening the Thursday night games.

Channel 4 continues its live coverage of the late game on Sunday and Eurosport has taken over coverage of the Monday night games.

But the danger is always forgetting that as popular as the NFL is in the UK, it is still a minority sport. The league does not want to make the mistake of becoming greedy and saturating this market.

Hosting three games at Wembley does run that risk. During a tough a fiscal climate in both the UK and the United States, the NFL is asking a lot of both groups of fans to sell out Wembley three times.

Of course, the counter to that argument is that extra games should give every fan who wants to go, at least one opportunity to experience a live NFL game.

In that sense, the league has made a smart choice picking the Raiders and Falcons. The Raiders have a strong fan base in the UK, dating back to their last Super Bowl victory over the Washington Redskins in 1983/84.

They also currently boast dual-threat quarterback Terrelle Pryor. He is a dynamic young talent who will surely bring the crowds to Wembley.

Atlanta passer Matt Ryan, one of the game's premier quarterbacks, will likely do the same. The Falcons and the Raiders will both bring some legitimate star power, something the Jaguars currently lack, back to Wembley.

The success, in terms of attendances, of three games will inevitably renew calls for a London-based franchise. But in the opinion of this writer at least, that idea belongs in the dangerous and greedy category.

For now, UK NFL fans should simply celebrate yet more opportunities to watch live regular season NFL action.

image: © vtravelled