NFL's Return to Wembley Heralds London as Global Capital of Sport
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and the CEO of Visit London, James Bidwell will welcome the return of the National Football League (NFL) to the capital at a ‘Welcome to London’ gala dinner which will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral on Thursday 23 October 2008.
This year’s London-based NFL game will see the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints go head-to-head on Sunday (26 October) in London’s iconic Wembley Stadium.
Visit London will host the gala dinner which will be attended by the Mayor and over one hundred leading CEOs, sporting celebrities and key influencers in the sports industry.
As well as welcoming the NFL back to London the dinner will also mark the launch of The Economist ‘Global Sports Summit, which will take place the next day at London’s Landmark Hotel October 24. The summit will bring together the most powerful global community of senior sports leaders, who are setting the agenda for the international sports industry
Organised by Economist Conferences in association with the NFL, the summit will focus on successful pathways to growth and the key trends driving the industry’s worldwide expansion. Speakers for the Global Sports Summit already confirmed include Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, President, Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) and Member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Ramón Calderón, President, Real Madrid, Lord Coe, Chairman, London 2012 Organising Committee, Roger Goodell, Commissioner, National Football League (NFL), Sir Allen Stanford, Chairman, Stanford Financial Group and Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive, FA Premier League.
The return of the NFL to the capital has been assisted by Events for London – a partnership comprising of Visit London, the Greater London Authority, and the London Development Agency. The Events for London team has been working with the NFL to develop their event in London and to position the capital as the major global sporting destination of choice in the lead up to and beyond the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The NFL’s return to the capital highlights London as the most exciting city in which to hold major sporting events.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
“There is no doubt about it – London is right up there amongst the top cities in the world to host top international sporting events. We can provide world-class Olympic training facilities, we have world-class theatre and culinary offerings and more importantly, we have the hunger to improve on this reputation. That is why Events for London is now tasked with bringing even more Olympic and non-Olympic sports to the city. The message is clear: sporting bodies will find us an open, accessible and equally importantly, a welcoming city.”
Visit London Chief Executive James Bidwell said:
“We welcome the return of the NFL to London for an unprecedented second time. Last year saw the first ever NFL season game played outside the Americas right here in London and for this great American sport to come back in 2008 is a tremendous achievement. The return of the NFL cements London’s reputation as the most prestigious major sporting city in the world. Visit London’s intention is to continue to attract the best and biggest events to the capital in the lead up to and beyond the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Alistair Kirkwood, Managing Director of NFL UK, said:
“The fact that we are staging a game here in London for the second year is a tribute to the great partnership we have developed with the city. The teams who came over last year had a fantastic experience and enjoyed excellent hospitality from the people of London. With both the Saints and Chargers being here for the whole week of game this year, demands have been higher, but all the facilities, venues and organisations we are working with are doing their bit to ensure that we have another very successful event.”
For more information contact:
Business & Major Events PR Manager
Visit London6th Floor,
2 More London Riverside, London SE1 2RR, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7234 5727
Fax: +44 (0)20 7234 5751
About Visit London
Visit London is the official visitor organisation for London. A leader in best practice destination marketing, Visit London promotes the UK capital internationally, across Britain and to Londoners targeting leisure and business visitors. Visit London works in partnership with the Mayor of London, the London Development Agency, London Councils and the tourism industry.
About Events for London
Events for London (EfL) is a partnership comprising Visit London, the Greater London Authority, and the London Development Agency. EfL acts as a central point of leadership and expertise for organising committees, international sports federations, national governing bodies and associations keen to stage major and sporting events in London.
Events for London brings together all the relevant bodies – Visit London, the emergency services, Transport for London, the Boroughs and Government – into one expert body to support the transport, crowd management and other significant aspects of major events.
About the NFL
The New Orleans Saints’ home game against the San Diego Chargers at Wembley Stadium kicks off at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday and will be shown simultaneously live on BBC Two and Sky Sports, with live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live. It is only the second competitive NFL game to be played outside North America, following last year’s game at Wembley between the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants. A limited number of tickets on return from the teams are now available at www.ticketmaster.co.uk.