Even in these straitened times, the UK's thirst for professional American football appears unquenched as 70,000 tickets that were put on sale a few days ago for October's NFL clash at Wembley have already flown into the hands of eager purchasers. It's not too late to buy in this window, but you'll have to be quick. Tickets for the match between the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are due to be taken off sale not long after Sunday night's Super Bowl and when Londonist looked last night we could only find single seats available. Tickets are not scheduled to reach the open market again until shortly before the game when returns typically come back from the States, so snap one up now if you don't want to have a nervous nine month wait.
Talking of this weekend's big game between the Pittsburgh Steelers, going for a record sixth league title, and the Arizona Cardinals, the rough US equivalent of Portsmouth FC, tickets for NFL UK's annual Super Bash at the IndigO2 have sadly all been allocated to members of their website, but there are still plenty of places in town to go for the big screen experience, even at 11:30pm on a Sunday. Regular big hitting venues such as the Sports Café, the Clapham Grand, Bodean's BBQ in Soho, the Texas Embassy near Trafalgar Square and the Hard Rock Café will be keeping their doors open late, but our pick of the parties would be the one organised by The London Expat American Meetup Group at the Academy, Islington. Entry is free, though it would be wise to email the organisers ahead of time to make sure of your place. The BBC are showing the game this year, as are Sky, but the Expats boast:
Our event is the only one to show the US Broadcast of the Superbowl, live on NBC, including all commercials, real commentary (not Don Johnson and Ricky Gervais!) and the full Halftime show with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band!
A friendly atmosphere generated by several hundred revellers who understand the rules, a halftime performance by the London Rockets cheerleaders, a late licence and an abundance of tradtional game treats such as hot dogs and nachos should make it the definitive London Super Bowl experience.
And if we heard correctly when an NFL marketing executive was speaking to BBC radio last night, we might not have to wait too long for a home team to cheer. We're pretty sure he said that the NFL had it in mind to start a London franchise in ten to twelve years' time. Those of us who'll spend the next fortnight suffering from gridiron withdrawal symptoms can but hope.