Wondering what it’s like to see an NFL game at Wembley? Read my tips on getting the most from your day.
I arrived three hours before kick off, but luckily there’s lots of things to do pre-game.
There were lots of people wearing various teams’ jerseys. The cowboy supporters had the most interesting outfits, with their large blue cowboy hats and one fan even wearing one those fancy dress inflatable horse costumes!
Yeah, it did take me a second or five to make the connection. It wasn’t all fun pre-game though. We were subjected to Joss Stone singing… definitely the low point of the day.
Get merch early
The queues for merchandise where huge the whole time I was there. That’s three hours before kick off. They have a large marquee and a few dotted around closer to the gates at the stadium.
I watched people an hour before the game wait thirty minutes in line (no line to speak of actually) to finally get to the front and be told they had sold out of jerseys in normal size etc.
But if you’re XL or XXL your in luck.
Food at Wembley
The prices of the food around the stadium may shock some, but I don’t think they are that much more outrageous than London street food prices.
There is the outlet shopping center which has a number of well known restaurants serving a variety of cuisines. While on the other side you’ll find the standard McDonalds!
But I urge you to find the more authentic food stalls selling traditional American food for a slightly more authentic experience (not that they don’t have McDonalds in America of course). I opted for a Philly cheesestake from The Liberty Bell Company.
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Seats on the top tier are okay
Don’t be put off by the cheap seats. Unless you forget your glasses and are short sighted like I am, the seats on the top tier provide a good view still.
I was sitting in the middle of the top tier but I could still see the ball flying through the air. Replays on the big screen are there for anything you need a closer look at.
Make time for the fan area.
I’ll admit,I didn’t get a chance to go to it as you need a ticket to get into the fan area (the person I was buying a ticket from didn’t turn up until near kick-off), but it looked fairly decent.
As well as more food trucks, there seems to be a number of activities including what looks like an inflatable assault course.
Buy a match programme
Okay, the match programmes may be £10, but if you’re a newbie to NFL, it’s packed full of useful information on American football and the two teams playing that night.
Read up on the rules
May seem like an obvious one but it would have made the game much more enjoyable knowing what the hell was going on!
I did read up on the rules of American football in the morning but forgot when it got to the game…
A zip lining mascot, drum ensembles, cheerleaders, club tracks, t-shirts being shot into the crowd. Oh yeah, and an NFL game. The NFL International Series came and brought their A-game clearly.
I didn’t know what to expect. Maybe not all NFL games are this epic back in the States? Don’t get me wrong, I had a great day out, well worth the £25 I paid for the ticket. Here are my thoughts on the day.
What’s it like to watch an NFL match?
To be honest I can’t remember too much of the Jaguars vs Cowboys game itself. But I do seem to remember all of the added extras. At times it seemed like a show with an NFL game breaking out in the background.
l was told that the Jaguars vs the Cowboys wasn’t the greatest game (a few Mexican waves did brake out) which might explain my haziness towards the match.
There were flashes of brilliance like players ducking and diving to evade tackles and Hollywood passes from the quarterback to assist a touchdown. And of course the crunching tackles.
Much more than American football
The atmosphere at an American football game is so different to a football (soccer) game. While both are ‘electric’, football is a little more ‘us vs. them’ so the atmosphere can get a little hateful at times (sometimes mistaken for passionate).
Where football is about your team and 22 men chasing a ball around a pitch, American football seems like it’s built around a celebration of the game as a whole. Sure, there is a definite home team vibe and booing of the away side (even if this had to be generated by the tannoy announcer…), but the spectacle didn’t just focus on the actions on the pitch. This provides a number of distractions.
NFL is a lot slower than I had anticipated. There are a lot of breaks between plays. Plenty of opportunities for DJ Ray to play a club track (Party Up (Up In Here) by DMX always goes down smoothly), the teams’ drum ensemble to bang out a tune or the cheerleaders to shake their thang (that’s not a euphemism either, I’m referring to their pom poms, get you head out of the gutter.)
I guess as there’s so much variety of entertainment on show, there’s something to interest everyone. It’s a great day out and I highly recommend it for families.
Do you have any tips or advice for an NFL game at Wembley? Tell me in the comments section below!