It’s Sunday evening, and as Leicester Square drains of tourists and locals head home to prepare for the working week, one London hotspot is just getting warmed up.
London has embraced the NFL with open arms since the first live game was played in 2007, boasting an international community of fans living in a city that has streets emblazoned with livery and three live games a season being hosted in its impressive stadia. And if there’s one place to really immerse yourself in the action it’s at the Hippodrome Casino.
As the only venue in town that shows all the NFL games live throughout the season and regularly has celebrity players, Sky TV presenters and NFL seniors in attendance, the Hippodrome has become the NFL hub of London. TV screens litter the bar area broadcasting games from across America, with a theatre and lounge giving the big screen treatment to a selection of the big clashes.
Mike Haydon, Food and Beverage Director at the Hippodrome Casino, told The London Economic: “The NFL continues to surge as the fastest growing sport in the UK.
“In the past five years interest for the game has quadrupled, with American Football clubs growing from a few dozen to a few hundred in no time.
“Sure, there are over 1.5 million North Americans in the UK who miss the game, but the real growth has blossomed amongst British fans themselves.
“Local NFL fan clubs have sprung up all over the country, as British NFL fans find new friends to watch the game with, and share their love of the gridiron.”
And it’s not just about the live sport. The Hippodrome is a cut above when it comes to offering the full NFL experience. On a busy Sunday, upwards of three thousand chicken wings are served at the casino, along with 150 portions of nachos and 400 pitchers of beer, or 400 barrels over the month!
And it wouldn’t be a true American menu without a food challenge. The BIG TIME burger – which consists of 2kg of USDA meat, ten slices of streaky bacon, 15 slices of Monterey Jack cheese, 500gr of truffle sauce and 20 hand-cut chips – is free if you and three of your friends can defeat it in under half an hour.
Haydon adds: “The Hippodrome offers the very best NFL experience to be had in London with amazing food, outstanding service and superb atmosphere – we really embrace everything that is great about the US and the worlds No1 sport!!”