ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – On Oct. 8, the NFL announced that there would be three games played in London next season with Jacksonville, Atlanta and Oakland hosting teams at Wembley Stadium.
While games at Atlanta and at Jacksonville aren’t on Denver’s 2014 list of future opponents, a trip to Oakland is.
However, any speculation as to whether the Broncos would return to the United Kingdom for another matchup in London next season ended on Thursday as the league announced the three opponents for those games.
The Cowboys will play the Jaguars, the Lions will face the Falcons and the Dolphins will square off against the Raiders. Dates and times of those games have not been announced.
Denver played in the fourth annual International Series game, falling 24-16 to the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 31, 2010. That game drew 83,941 fans, which marked the fifth-largest crowd to take in a Broncos regular-season contest.
“Our fans in the UK continue to demonstrate their passion for more football,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Next year for the first time we will play three regular-season games in London. We have scheduled three attractive games with four teams playing in their first International Series game. The growing enthusiasm for the NFL internationally is exciting and we look forward to continuing to respond to this interest in our game.”
The Jaguars, who face the San Francisco 49ers in London on Sunday, committed to playing a home game in the UK in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, all at Wembley. Miami will make its second visit to London for a regular-season game after hosting the New York Giants in the inaugural International Series contest in 2007. Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, and Oakland will all play their first international regular-season game next season.
The International Series has increased NFL fan interest in the UK, with a current fan base of more than 12 million, including 2.5 million avid fans, a 30 percent increase in avid fans in the past two years.
The Minnesota Vikings’ thrilling 34-27 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in London on September 29 drew a crowd of 83,518 to Wembley. The day before, more than 520,000 people attended a football festival on London’s famed Regent Street, enjoying football-themed games and attractions, including visits from Vikings’ and Steelers’ players and coaches.
Television ratings have shown substantial growth in the UK since 2006 – with Sunday viewership of NFL games almost doubling and the Super Bowl audience having increased 75 percent. The league also has developed new and stronger business partnerships.
Participation in amateur football in the UK has risen since the start of the International Series, growing by approximately 15 percent per year since 2007.
|2014 Broncos Opponents|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Kansas City Chiefs|
|Oakland Raiders||Oakland Raiders|
|San Diego Chargers||San Diego Chargers|
|Buffalo Bills||New England Patriots|
|Miami Dolphins||New York Jets|
|Arizona Cardinals||St. Louis Rams|
|San Francisco 49ers||Seattle Seahawks|
|AFC South*||AFC North*|
*Team from that division that finishes in the same place in the 2013 standings as the Broncos.