Bucket list experience at the NFL in London
Would you ever travel to another city to see a sports event? And not even speaking about another country?! Well thats what I did almost exactly one year ago. Today my phone reminded me of that trip and as I went through the photos it brought back all the feelings and of course today is also an NFL sunday. So the vibe to write could not be better. Let me tell you all about how a day at an NFL game goes by.
For this trip I actually went all by myself. I guess the reasons are obvious. Neither my wife or daughter are as big Football Fans as I am(yet!).
Don´t worry, this will not be about the game itself or the rules, which some find super hard to understand. This is much more about the event and the entire experience surrounding the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Minnesota Vikings.
It has always been on top of my bucket list to see an NFL game live and in person. Even though I have been to the USA a bunch of times, I managed to always be there during the off-season.
I suppose the NFL had to come my way in order to make this dream come true.
So how does it go down.
The game starts at 3pm and that allowed me to arrive from Berlin at around 9.30am in the morning.
From Gatwick it took me about another hour to arrive in Twickenham, which is the home of Englands rugby team.
At first I was a little bit confused, because it seemed as if i was in a little town itself looking like out of a Harry Potter scene. But the locals were absolutely prepared with improvised barbecues and self-made drinking stands as fans make their way to the stadium in a 15 minute walk.
The mood is set once you exit the train. Loved it already.
Then, once you approach the Stadium, you already see all the action going on in front of the arena. The NFL actually created a special app for these London games only, in order for you to navigate yourself among all the sponsor partners and see where you can snag even the tiniest giveaway.
And as you know, wherever there is something for free, there are masses of people. I honestly avoid those and rather tried to grasp as much of the atmosphere around me as I could and see and observe.
It was what I came for. The atmosphere, the smell of barbecue, pretzels and hot dogs.
Because I arrived so early, I also entered the stadium a while before kickoff. The entry and the strict security measures were not a hassle at all. Everything was organised to perfection and i immediately wished they could recruit everybody here for the airport in Berlin.
Going in early it possible to walk around and even get super close to the field during warm ups. I face timed my wife and daughter and they watched a 28 year old guy being back in his teenage years. I was hyped and happy. The trip was already worth every penny.
I will spare you the game details but let me tell you this: no matter what your sport is, the NFL knows how to entertain and keep the party alive. There was not a dull moment.
From the pregame show, to everything around the arena and of course the game itself.
After the game, a lot of the typical London Double-decker busses were already waiting for the fans to shuttle them straight back to the city centre (for free!). And there goes another check for me: I have never been in one of those famous buses.
Just an amazing experience overall. I can only recommend it and will definitely do it again!
On a side note, during the recent years, London has been the unfortunate site to some terror attacks and so people asked me if I felt safe there and especially at such a huge gathering.
The answer is 100% yes. Safety measures have been extremely high without feeling to stressed about everything. Coming from Berlin I am used to events like that and strict security measures, yet I am also very much opposed to change my lifestyle or have my freedom taken away to attend events like this. I am sure a lot can relate.
Not only within the city of London but also before, during and after the game. You never felt threatened or unsafe. it was a very family friendly enviroment.
Always been absolutely in love with London, since i first went and can´t wait to go back asap!