British American Football: BritBowl Moving to London’s Allianz Park

Via our friends at BritViewNFL:

BritViewNFL can exclusively reveal that the British American Football Association (BAFA) will be moving their national BritBowl finals to Allianz Park – home of Saracens Rugby Club – for the 2015 season.

The 10,000-seat stadium in North London recently played home to a Miami Dolphins practice session ahead of the first NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. While dates for the BritBowl finals are yet to be confirmed, BritViewNFL understands BAFA is looking at the end of August or the beginning of September.

Prior to the proposed move to Allianz Park, the BritBowl finals were previously held at John Charles Stadium in Leeds. This year’s national championship game saw two London-based teams fight for the title as the Warriors edged past the Blitz in a low-scoring affair.

BAFA Director Andy Fuller said:

“We’re delighted to have been working closely with Saracens and our partners at Allianz Park and we think this venue is going to be the perfect home for our showpiece game in 2015.

“The fans are going to be very close to the field – they are going to feel every hit and share in the emotion of every play. It’s a tremendously atmospheric stadium and it has so much going for it from a spectator and hospitality point of view.”

The move to Allianz Park – and the ongoing work with Saracens Rugby Club – appears to be the beginning of a concerted effort to raise the profile of the BritBowl finals. BAFA will work with Saracens and a range of organisations in the local community to get more people interested in the domestic finals.

While this is believed to be a one-year deal for 2015, BAFA are considering long-term plans that include BritBowl finals being played at Allianz Park. The venue also gives BAFA large areas around the stadium to host flag football tournaments for schoolchildren and cheerleading clinics on the day of the finals, further spreading the word about American football in the area.

Fuller stated: “We’ve had a lovely home in Leeds for the last couple of years but we have to look at the wider event opportunities. This move gives us the chance to build an event that showcases the best of British football.

“We hope to build this event gradually but effectively over the course of a multi-year plan.”

Neil Reynolds
Neil Reynolds has covered the NFL as a journalist and broadcaster since 1991. He currently serves as co-host of the NFL coverage on Sky Sports and has also co-presented BBC Radio 5 Live’s coverage of American football. Reynolds has worked for British football magazines Gridiron and First Down and has also written for American organisations such as the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Pittsburgh Post-Press Gazette, NFL.com and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He currently writes for SkySports.com, nfluk.com and the International Series gameday magazines and has interviewed some of the biggest names in American football including Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, John Elway, Andrew Luck and Adrian Peterson. Reynolds also hosts NFL UK’s popular ‘Fan Nights’ series and live events such as the NFL on Regent Street and Trafalgar Square Fan Rally, as well as Tailgate Parties at Wembley Stadium.
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