The 2022 NFL is officially underway, and the big football energy as palpable across the UK with the promise of 3 homes games, a German game, and no COVID!
As a group that has hosted NFL viewing parties across the UK for the past 15 years, we are often asked ‘where are the best places to watch the NFL in the UK’?
Normally we work with pubs, bars and venues to host wicked, weekly NFL parties across the city, however this year is a bit different.
While we will be promoting some great NFL events around the International games, we won’t be supporting weekly NFL London viewings for a few reasons this season.
As you may have noticed living in Britain over the past decade, that the number of independent, local pubs has dropped substantially.
Even if an independent pub or small chain of them does well, it’s only a matter of time before the big boys buy them up, and rip apart the uniqueness of the pub to maximise operating efficiency.
We have always enjoyed working with independent pubs, as they are limited to do more for their customers and not laden down by corporate double-speak or ridiculous growth projections.
Making matters worse is that many of these large pub chains ‘promise’ to show the NFL, in many cases it’s up to a manager-who might decide to keep the 8-0 beating of Man City of Villa on the screen, because ‘4 lads in the corner are watching it’, ignoring the 70 NFL fans queuing for the 6pm game.
These large pub chains don’t care about your NFL viewing experience, and constantly drill at us the need to ‘increase foot traffic weekly to show corporate that this is working’, while at the same time serving football food that tastes like someone went dumpster-diving at Iceland.
These pubs have also jacked their prices up ‘in line with the cost of living’, which we’re sorry-no one should be paying over £7 for a pint.
The pub industry has been struggling heavily post Covid, with Sunday nights taking a particularly big hit.
Getting a pub to stay open late has been like…well, trying to get a London pub to stay open late on a Sunday.
We have also had to recently shy away from late night Sundays in Leicester Square, Soho and Piccadilly Circus areas due to the rise in robberies, stabbings and assaults.
If you are going to be out LATE at night in these areas, be very careful, do not travel alone, nor under the influence.
Last year was very bad for some of our NFL fans in that area-so caution is cool!
Cost of Living
Smell that? Things are getting expensive again-as the cost of living crisis is making things way more expensive.
People and pubs alike are struggling, with pubs having to jack their prices to afford their bills, while the eye-balls of the nation are trying to focus on the thermostat to combat the heating crisis.
With a ’round’ of pints doubling over the past 5 years, we thought it would be better to point out the value NFL places, rather than trying to funnel fans into a maelstrom of minimum spends, deposits, and set menus that fell out of the fryer.
Did we mention that every pub we talked to also said that they would only play the NFL after the World Cup was done? No-well there’s that.
With the World Cup crossing over to the NFL for the first time ever, British pubs couldn’t give a toss about your American football fascination. The trophy is coming home! (spoiler alert-it isn’t).
World Cup games will feature heavily on Sundays as, as well as culminating in a final a week before Christmas, effectively choking the NFL into TV submission.
So if you’re making plans to watch the NFL in November/ December-make sure to check that it hasn’t been given a yellow card.
Places to Go
Just because we aren’t working with venues, doesn’t mean that there aren’t places that will show the games.
It is highly unlikely that venues will show the 9pm game in its entirety, and no way that you are able to watch the 1:30am game in public.
That being said, there are casinos in Mayfair and Stratford that are open 24 hrs, and you might be able to get them to throw on Sky sports for a laugh.
We have also been informed by many venues that NFL Gamepass is no longer available for commercial sale, meaning that for many venues-the NFL just isn’t worth it.
There are NO pubs in London that show all the games every week anymore.
Sorry-the times they are a changing.
That being said, many of us have taken the pub online-preferring to stay at home, or a friend’s and shit-talk their fantasy fans from the safety of their phone.
If you’re looking to join some of our group chats across NFL, and Betting, just get in touch!
We’ll also let you know about events that we have on for the London games, Thanksgiving and the playoffs.
It’s great to have the NFL back everyone!
If you do have a venue that is showing the NFL every Sunday, please let us know!