Nov 3 (Reuters) - Touchdowns will replace tries at the home of English rugby after the National Football League (NFL) agreed a three-year deal to play regular season games at Twickenham from next October, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) announced on Tuesday.
The NFL garners huge interest in Britain and the three games per season currently played at Wembley Stadium as part of the International Series have been a rousing success since they began in 2007.
Last season’s games drew sellout crowds of more than 80,000 for a reported total of more than $32 million in ticket revenue.
“We are delighted to welcome the NFL to Twickenham -- a stadium that has played such an integral role in what has been the biggest Rugby World Cup ever,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, the RFU’s chief commercial & marketing officer.
“The NFL has a strong and growing fan base in the UK, and this, combined with the investments we’ve made in our stadium will give fans more opportunities to experience the action first-hand at a world-class venue,” she added.
The NFL teams selected for the first game at Twickenham will be announced later this year and the deal gives the United States-based league an option of staging two additional games at the stadium over the same period.
The agreement with Twickenham, where New Zealand beat Australia to lift the Rugby World Cup on Saturday, comes in the wake of the NFL and Tottenham Hotspur reaching a 10-year deal in July for shared use of a new multi-sport stadium in London.
“We are committed to continuing to grow our sport in the UK and believe that adding Twickenham Stadium to our roster of host venues in London is further evidence of that commitment,” NFL executive vice president Mark Waller said.
The NFL recently disclosed that it had extended its existing partnership with Wembley in a deal that will see the national stadium stage at least two regular-season games a year until 2020. (Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by John O‘Brien)