American Bowl


The American Bowl was a series of National Football League pre-season exhibition games that were held at sites outside the United States between 1986 and 2005.

The league started the American Bowl series in 1986 primarily to promote American football in other countries. After successful games in London's Wembley Stadium, the series was expanded to Japan. After 1990, games were also played in Montreal and Berlin to promote the new World League of American Football (later NFL Europe) which started in 1991.

Game history


Previous games outside the U.S.

Several earlier pre-season games involved NFL teams and were played outside the United States, without being labeled "American Bowl" games. Between 1950 and 1983, there were 13 football games involving NFL or AFL teams played on foreign soil. Six games in Canada between 1950–1961 pitted NFL teams against CFL teams with the NFL team winning all six games. These games were a hybrid of US and Canadian football. One game involved an AFL team (the Buffalo Bills, who lost 38–21 to the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats).

There was also a game in 1960 that pitted the Chicago Bears against the New York Giants played in Toronto; this was in return for a 1958 CFL matchup that was played in Philadelphia.[3]

Five games also used the American Bowl format without the name prior to 1986. One of these games was an AFL–NFL matchup, Boston vs. Detroit on August 25, 1969. Firstly, two games were played in Montreal in 1969. Then NFL exhibition games took place in Tokyo (1976), Mexico City (1978), and London (1983) before the term American Bowl was coined. The game in Tokyo was called the "Mainichi Star Bowl" . The game in London was called the Global Cup.

American Bowl games (1986–2005)

At least one American Bowl game was played annually between 1986 and 2003. As many as four were played per year in the early 1990s. The two participating teams were selected by the league. The American Bowl was a fifth pre-season game, played the same weekend as the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, and did not take away a game from the participating teams' pre-season schedules.

The largest crowd in NFL history was recorded at the American Bowl game at Mexico City on August 15, 1994, when 112,376 people attended the Governor's Cup game between the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers.

In 1996 it was played in Monterrey at the Estadio Universitario. The 1997 game was played in Dublin, Ireland as well as Toronto (Buffalo and Green Bay).

There were three games in 1998, two in 2000, and thereafter one per year. There was no American Bowl game played in 2004, and from 2000 to 2005 all American Bowl games were played in either Mexico or Japan.

Two 1988 games in Montreal and Gothenburg, Sweden, and a 1993 game in Toronto, are not classed as American Bowl games. This is because they were not arranged by the NFL but, rather, the scheduled home team elected to play there. Montreal held an American Bowl in 1990. At the time Montreal had no CFL team, after the Concordes/Alouettes had folded in 1987, but before the new Alouettes relocated there in 1996. The NFL-backed World League saw the Montreal Machine franchise compete in 1991 and 1992.

Post-American Bowl

The last American Bowl was held in 2005. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell cited the league's new international strategy in the abandonment of international pre-season games as well as the closure of NFL Europe, instead focusing on playing regular season games in foreign countries.

The pre-season game that was scheduled to take place in August 2007 (later postponed to 2009) between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks at Beijing National Stadium in Beijing, China was named the China Bowl instead of the American Bowl; that game, too, was eventually canceled before being played.

The first regular season NFL game played outside the United States was held on October 2, 2005 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City before an NFL regular-season record of 103,467 fans. The Arizona Cardinals defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 31-14. The New York Giants and Miami Dolphins played a regular season game at Wembley Stadium in London on October 28, 2007 (with the Giants winning 13-10), the first ever NFL regular season game to be played outside of North America; similarly, the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints followed suit in October 2008. These games are termed the NFL International Series. In addition to these games, the Buffalo Bills began the Bills Toronto Series, a number of pre- and annual regular season games in Toronto; the Miami Dolphins beat the Bills 16-3 in the first such game, on December 7, 2008. The series ran from 2008 to 2013.

List of games


DateWinning TeamScoreLosing TeamScoreStadiumCity
August 3, 1986Chicago Bears17Dallas Cowboys6Wembley Stadium London
August 9, 1987Los Angeles Rams28Denver Broncos27Wembley Stadium London
July 31, 1988Miami Dolphins27San Francisco 49ers21Wembley Stadium London
August 6, 1989Los Angeles Rams16San Francisco 49ers13Tokyo Dome Tokyo
August 6, 1989Philadelphia Eagles17Cleveland Browns13Wembley Stadium London
August 5, 1990Denver Broncos10Seattle Seahawks7Tokyo Dome Tokyo
August 5, 1990New Orleans Saints17Los Angeles Raiders10Wembley Stadium London
August 9, 1990Pittsburgh Steelers30New England Patriots14Olympic Stadium Montreal
August 11, 1990Los Angeles Rams19Kansas City Chiefs3Olympiastadion West Berlin
July 28, 1991Buffalo Bills17Philadelphia Eagles13Wembley Stadium London
August 3, 1991San Francisco 49ers21Chicago Bears7Olympiastadion Berlin
August 4, 1991Miami Dolphins19Los Angeles Raiders17Tokyo Dome Tokyo
August 2, 1992Houston Oilers34Dallas Cowboys23Tokyo Dome Tokyo
August 15, 1992Miami Dolphins31Denver Broncos27Olympiastadion Berlin
August 16, 1992San Francisco 49ers17Washington Redskins15Wembley Stadium London
August 1, 1993New Orleans Saints28Philadelphia Eagles16Tokyo Dome Tokyo
August 1, 1993San Francisco 49ers21Pittsburgh Steelers14Estadi Olímpic Barcelona
August 7, 1993Minnesota Vikings20Buffalo Bills6Olympiastadion Berlin
August 8, 1993Dallas Cowboys13Detroit Lions13Wembley Stadium London
July 31, 1994Los Angeles Raiders25Denver Broncos22Estadi Olímpic Barcelona
August 7, 1994Minnesota Vikings17Kansas City Chiefs9Tokyo Dome Tokyo
August 13, 1994New York Giants28San Diego Chargers20Olympiastadion Berlin
August 15, 1994Houston Oilers6Dallas Cowboys0Estadio Azteca Mexico City
August 6, 1995Denver Broncos24San Francisco 49ers10Tokyo Dome Tokyo
August 12, 1995Buffalo Bills9Dallas Cowboys7SkyDome Toronto
July 28, 1996San Diego Chargers20Pittsburgh Steelers10Tokyo Dome Tokyo
August 5, 1996Kansas City Chiefs32Dallas Cowboys6Estadio Universitario Monterrey
July 27, 1997Pittsburgh Steelers30Chicago Bears17Croke Park Dublin
August 4, 1997Miami Dolphins38Denver Broncos19Estadio Guillermo Cañedo Mexico City
August 16, 1997Green Bay Packers35Buffalo Bills3SkyDome Toronto
August 2, 1998Green Bay Packers27Kansas City Chiefs24Tokyo Dome Tokyo
August 15, 1998San Francisco 49ers24Seattle Seahawks21BC Place Stadium Vancouver
August 17, 1998New England Patriots21Dallas Cowboys3Estadio Azteca Mexico City
August 8, 1999Denver Broncos20San Diego Chargers17Stadium Australia Sydney
August 6, 2000Atlanta Falcons20Dallas Cowboys9Tokyo Dome Tokyo
August 19, 2000Indianapolis Colts24Pittsburgh Steelers23Estadio Azteca Mexico City
August 27, 2001Dallas Cowboys21Oakland Raiders6Estadio Azteca Mexico City
August 3, 2002Washington Redskins38San Francisco 49ers7Osaka Dome Osaka
August 2, 2003Tampa Bay Buccaneers30New York Jets14Tokyo Dome Tokyo
August 6, 2005Atlanta Falcons27Indianapolis Colts21Tokyo Dome Tokyo

Standings


Rank Team GP W L T Pct Pts for Pts against
1 Miami Dolphins 4 4 0 0 1.000 115 84
2 San Francisco 49ers 8 4 4 0 .500 134 162
3 Los Angeles Rams 3 3 0 0 1.000 63 43
4 Denver Broncos 7 3 4 0 .429 149 156
5 Green Bay Packers 2 2 0 0 1.000 62 27
6 Atlanta Falcons 2 2 0 0 1.000 47 30
7 New Orleans Saints 2 2 0 0 1.000 45 26
8 Houston Oilers 2 2 0 0 1.000 40 23
9 Minnesota Vikings 2 2 0 0 1.000 37 15
10 Buffalo Bills 4 2 2 0 .500 35 75
11 Pittsburgh Steelers 5 2 3 0 .400 107 96
12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 1 0 0 1.000 30 14
13 New York Giants 1 1 0 0 1.000 28 20
14 Washington Redskins 2 1 1 0 .500 53 24
15 Indianapolis Colts 2 1 1 0 .500 45 50
16 New England Patriots 2 1 1 0 .500 35 33
17 San Diego Chargers 3 1 2 0 .333 57 58
18 Philadelphia Eagles 3 1 2 0 .333 46 58
19 Chicago Bears 3 1 2 0 .333 41 57
20 Kansas City Chiefs 4 1 3 0 .250 68 69
21 Oakland/L.A. Raiders 4 1 3 0 .250 58 79
22 Dallas Cowboys 9 1 7 1 .167 88 158
23 Seattle Seahawks 2 0 2 0 .000 28 34
24 New York Jets 1 0 1 0 .000 14 30
25 Cleveland Browns 1 0 1 0 .000 13 17
26 Detroit Lions 1 0 0 1 .500 13 13

See also


References


  • 2006 NFL Record and Fact Book. p. 616. ISBN 1-933405-32-5.
  • "NFL History - 1991-2000". NFL.com. Archived from the original on 23 August 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-08.
  • "NFL.com International". NFL.com. Archived from the original on 2006-08-22. Retrieved 2006-09-09.