The National Football League has reached an agreement with the United Kingdom’s Rugby Football Union to play at least one game per season at London’s Twickenham Stadium from 2016 to 2018, officials said Tuesday. The three-year deal, which begins in October 2016, comes weeks after the league, as part of its drive to expand internationally, announced similar agreements to play games at London’s Wembley Stadium and the stadium of English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, which will be completed in 2018.
The agreement gives the NFL an option to play an additional two games at Twickenham during the three-year window, the Associated Press reported. Twickenham Stadium currently serves as home to English’s national rugby team, and it hosted the Rugby World Cup final last weekend.
“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 in a statement. “We are very excited to give our fans the opportunity to enjoy NFL action at another world-class venue famous for attracting loyal and passionate fans from across the globe.”
The NFL’s U.K. series has largely been a success since it began in 2007. Thirteen of the NFL’s 14 games in London have produced sellout crowds at Wembley Stadium, and the three regular-season games played during the 2014 season purportedly generated more than $30 million in ticket sales. U.K. television viewership and fan interest in the NFL has doubled since 2007, the New York Times reported.
Starting in 2018, the league will have a total of three London venues to host NFL games. The NFL extended its deal with Wembley Stadium earlier this month, with plans to play at least two regular-season games at the arena every year through 2020.
In July, the league struck a 10-year deal with Tottenham Hotspur to play at least two games per season at the soccer club’s new multisport facility, with construction expected to be complete by 2018. The stadium will include amenities specific to U.S. football, such as NFL-style locker rooms. In total, the NFL will play at least five regular-season games in London by the 2018 season.
While fan interest in the NFL is on the rise in the U.K., the NFL has struggled to turn a profit overseas, the New York Times reported. The league reimburses travel expenses to encourage teams to participate in the series.