Atlanta Falcons playing in London is haphazard
The Atlanta Falcons are once again headed back to London in the 2021 NFL season. Atlanta Falcons fans weren’t able to get to games in 2020 and now the franchise will play 10 of their 17 games next season away from Mercedes Benz Stadium.
While the 2020 opponent for the Atlanta Falcons was never actually announced publicly, they were supposed to play at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Because of Covid, that game was moved to MBS.
Given there are still a ton of travel restrictions still in place globally, sending the Falcons to London makes zero sense.
While Atlanta has a lot of amazing fans across the Atlantic, including our writer Andy Gallagher, they aren’t the international draw like the Cowboys, Packers, Bears, Steelers, or even the Patriots are, so forcing a team like the Falcons to go play overseas when their fans will have a really tough time traveling makes no sense.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said that NFL stadiums will be at 100 percent capacity in 2021, which is great news for those of us that want to be able to attend games. However, the NFL should have waited until 2022 to worry about including the global NFL audience in person until after they have a better grasp on covid protocols internationally and the impact that it could have on teams.
Atlanta Falcons should have said no thank you.
Part of the Atlanta Falcons release said this –
"As the world continues to navigate its way through the pandemic, details regarding the game’s exact date and Atlanta’s non-divisional opponent will be announced when the NFL releases its 2021 schedule in May. Factors such as the status of the COVID-19 virus, travel restrictions, and game-attendance allowances will then determine whether or not the game can be played when the time comes."
Announcing international games before they have the most important details worked out is very sketchy and haphazard and something that Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank should never have agreed to.
While having to go play a game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium makes no sense, it just shows the NFL has sense humor given the history that both the Atlanta Falcons and Tottenham have at choking away big wins.