Seahawks-Raiders London game moved to Wembley Stadium – 247Sports
(Photo: Kirby Lee , USA TODAY Sports)
The Vengeance Bowl set to take place in week six between the Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks across the pond in London, England is officially on the move to a different locale. The matchup scheduled for Oct. 14 had some added grandeur behind it as the first NFL game to be played at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium; however some delays in construction threatened to scuttle that added bit of pride, as the NFL UK detailed in July.
Now those delays have officially caused a problem for the game and moved it out of the original home. Instead of being played at the new stadium, the Seahawks-Raiders week six matchup will move to Wembley Stadium on Oct. 14. Obviously, moving to a new location amounts to the easiest solution to the problem at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Because of the NFL’s scheduling, moving the game to a different week wouldn’t have been feasible.
The Tottenham Hotspur website revealed the reason for the move on Monday with an urgent update.
“Recent testing and commissioning has now shown issues with the critical safety systems. Urgent follow-up meetings with Mace and the trade contractors are now taking place. We are reviewing the situation and planned timetable to rectify and re-test, after which we shall be in a better position to outline a revised timetable. The delays created by these difficulties mean that we can no longer hold the necessary Test Events on 27 August and 1 September,” they said in the update.
“These will need to be rescheduled to take place ahead of any first official match at the new stadium in order to achieve the safety licence. In the meantime, therefore, our upcoming Premier League matches against Liverpool (15 September) and Cardiff City (6 October) will be switched to Wembley, as will the NFL match scheduled for 14 October.”
Essentially, they need to figure out some safety issues which has pushed back the official completion of the stadium. The small setback has some small but important ramifications on the NFL’s London schedule. Now instead of two games being played in two weeks at Wembley Stadium, three games will be played in three weeks. As the first two teams to play overseas in 2018, the Seahawks and Raiders likely won’t have any issues with the field but could the Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Chargers who play on Oct. 21 or the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars who play on Oct. 28 have any issues with the grounds?
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And of course, there’s the ticketing issue. NFL UK addressed that immediately.
“Further to Tottenham Hotspur’s announcement about games being moved to Wembley Stadium, including the Seattle Seahawks-Oakland Raiders matchup on October 14, we will be sharing ticketing information later this week,” they released in a followup statement. “This will include relevant information for those who have already purchased hospitality packages, plus details on ticket sales at Wembley Stadium.”
While the setback ends what could have been a tremendous game to christen the relationship between the new stadium and the NFL; it’s hardly an end point to the two sides coming together. It just won’t happen in 2018 it seems.
“Everyone has been so excited about the prospect of playing in the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and I know all at the Club are very disappointed, but determined to clear this final hurdle,” NFL executive vice-president, international Mark Waller said in the update. “We totally understand the issue. We shall continue to work with them towards making our future games at Spurs a huge success. The new stadium will be an amazing venue for the NFL and we are very excited about our long-term partnership with Tottenham Hotspur.”
The Seahawks and Raiders will seeks revenge on each other on Oct. 14. Raiders running Marshawn Lynch, outside linebacker Bruce Irvin and offensive line coach Tom Cable will all face their former team for the first time while Seahawks kicker Sebastian Janikowski and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr will do the same. They just won’t do it at a new stadium.
Wembley will have to contain all that revenge narrative now.