NFL specialist tour operator uses US reopening as springboard

A new UK operator specialising in American football trips to the US is using the reopening of the country to officially launch its product.

NFL Weekends was born at the end of 2019 and was due to launch for the 2020 season before Covid hit.

Founder James Ellwood, who has seven years’ experience in luxury travel, said he was keen to work with UK travel agents and operators.

Packages are hosted by an NFL Weekends representative and prices include return flights, airport transfers in the US, match tickets, access to a pre-game tailgate party and hotel accommodation. Extras such as dinners or activities can be organised.

A trip to see a Carolina Panthers v Miami Dolphins fixture in Miami from November 25-29 costs from £1,600 per person.

Ellwood said the NFL’s UK following has grown 8% year on year in the 2020-21 season, with popularity boosted by four games a season being held in London.

Now with the US opening its borders to vaccinated international travellers from November 8, the company plans to operate a “small number” of trips for the end of the current 2021-22 season and launch its 2022-23 programme when tickets go on sale in May.

Clients are given time to explore host cities, and NFL Weekends has direct relationships with NFL franchises in Boston (New England Patriots), Miami (Miami Dolphins), New York (New York Jets and Giants) and Nashville (Tennessee Titans).

Ellwood said: “We look forward to utilising the pent-up demand for both overseas travel and watching elite sport, and are sure our concept of city exploration with the American sporting experience will go down a treat.”

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