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" [1]. 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). These games usually played at times of local convenience; however, in the case of games in Japan, it was common for games to start at 5:00 AM local time as the scheduling was primarily for the benefit of US prime time television.

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

Date Winning Team Score Losing Team Score Stadium City
August 3, 1986 Chicago Bears 17 Dallas Cowboys 6 Wembley Stadium United Kingdom London
August 9, 1987 Los Angeles Rams 28 Denver Broncos 27 Wembley Stadium United Kingdom London
July 31, 1988 Miami Dolphins 27 San Francisco 49ers 21 Wembley Stadium United Kingdom London
August 6, 1989 Los Angeles Rams 16 San Francisco 49ers 13 Tokyo Dome Japan Tokyo
August 6, 1989 Philadelphia Eagles 17 Cleveland Browns 13 Wembley Stadium United Kingdom London
August 5, 1990 Denver Broncos 10 Seattle Seahawks 7 Tokyo Dome Japan Tokyo
August 5, 1990 New Orleans Saints 17 Los Angeles Raiders 10 Wembley Stadium United Kingdom London
August 9, 1990 Pittsburgh Steelers 30 New England Patriots 14 Olympic Stadium Canada Montreal
August 11, 1990 Los Angeles Rams 19 Kansas City Chiefs 3 Olympiastadion  West Berlin
July 28, 1991 Buffalo Bills 17 Philadelphia Eagles 13 Wembley Stadium United Kingdom London
August 3, 1991 San Francisco 49ers 21 Chicago Bears 7 Olympiastadion Germany Berlin
August 4, 1991 Miami Dolphins 19 Los Angeles Raiders 17 Tokyo Dome Japan Tokyo
August 2, 1992 Houston Oilers 34 Dallas Cowboys 23 Tokyo Dome Japan Tokyo
August 15, 1992 Miami Dolphins 31 Denver Broncos 27 Olympiastadion Germany Berlin
August 16, 1992 San Francisco 49ers 17 Washington Redskins 15 Wembley Stadium United Kingdom London
August 1, 1993 New Orleans Saints 28 Philadelphia Eagles 16 Tokyo Dome Japan Tokyo
August 1, 1993 San Francisco 49ers 21 Pittsburgh Steelers 14 Estadi Olímpic Spain Barcelona
August 7, 1993 Minnesota Vikings 20 Buffalo Bills 6 Olympiastadion Germany Berlin
August 8, 1993 Dallas Cowboys 13 Detroit Lions 13 Wembley Stadium United Kingdom London
July 31, 1994 Los Angeles Raiders 25 Denver Broncos 22 Estadi Olímpic Spain Barcelona
August 7, 1994 Minnesota Vikings 17 Kansas City Chiefs 9 Tokyo Dome Japan Tokyo
August 13, 1994 New York Giants 28 San Diego Chargers 20 Olympiastadion Germany Berlin
August 15, 1994 Houston Oilers 6 Dallas Cowboys 0 Estadio Azteca Mexico Mexico City
August 6, 1995 Denver Broncos 24 San Francisco 49ers 10 Tokyo Dome Japan Tokyo
August 12, 1995 Buffalo Bills 9 Dallas Cowboys 7 SkyDome Canada Toronto
July 28, 1996 San Diego Chargers 20 Pittsburgh Steelers 10 Tokyo Dome Japan Tokyo
August 5, 1996 Kansas City Chiefs 32 Dallas Cowboys 6 Estadio Universitario Mexico Monterrey
July 27, 1997 Pittsburgh Steelers 30 Chicago Bears 17 Croke Park Republic of Ireland Dublin
August 4, 1997 Miami Dolphins 38 Denver Broncos 19 Estadio Guillermo Cañedo Mexico Mexico City
August 16, 1997 Green Bay Packers 35 Buffalo Bills 3 SkyDome Canada Toronto
August 2, 1998 Green Bay Packers 27 Kansas City Chiefs 24 Tokyo Dome Japan Tokyo
August 15, 1998 San Francisco 49ers 24 Seattle Seahawks 21 BC Place Stadium Canada Vancouver
August 17, 1998 New England Patriots 21 Dallas Cowboys 3 Estadio Azteca Mexico Mexico City
August 8, 1999 Denver Broncos 20 San Diego Chargers 17 Stadium Australia Australia Sydney
August 6, 2000 Atlanta Falcons 20 Dallas Cowboys 9 Tokyo Dome Japan Tokyo
August 19, 2000 Indianapolis Colts 24 Pittsburgh Steelers 23 Estadio Azteca Mexico Mexico City
August 27, 2001 Dallas Cowboys 21 Oakland Raiders 6 Estadio Azteca Mexico Mexico City
August 3, 2002 Washington Redskins 38 San Francisco 49ers 7 Osaka Dome Japan Osaka
August 2, 2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30 New York Jets 14 Tokyo Dome Japan Tokyo
August 6, 2005 Atlanta Falcons 27 Indianapolis Colts 21 Tokyo Dome Japan Tokyo


(GP (Games Played), W (Wins), L (Losses), T (Ties), PCT (Winning Percentage), PTS FOR (Points For), PTS AG (Points 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


  • 2006 NFL Record and Fact Book. p. 616. ISBN 1-933405-32-5.
  • "NFL History - 1991-2000". Archived from the original on 23 August 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-08.
  • " International". Archived from the original on 2006-08-22. Retrieved 2006-09-09.
1984 Hall of Fame Classic

The 1984 Hall of Fame Classic was the eighth edition of the Hall of Fame Classic. The game featured the Kentucky Wildcats of the Southeastern Conference and the Wisconsin Badgers of the Big Ten Conference. Wisconsin (7-3-1 entering the game, 5-3-1 in the Big Ten) was ranked #20 in the AP poll prior to the game. Kentucky (8-3, 3-3 SEC) had been ranked as high as #16 in the AP poll during the season but was unranked entering the game. Kentucky had appeared in the same bowl game the year before, losing to #16 West Virginia 20-16. Wisconsin was favored by 3 points over Kentucky.Wisconsin scored twice to take a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Less than four minutes into the game Todd Gregoire hit a 40-yard field goal. Michael Howard then threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Thad McFadden and Gregoire converted the extra point with 5:34 left in the first quarter.In the second quarter Gregoire hit a 27-yard field goal with 7:05 left in the half to give Wisconsin a 13-0 lead. Then Howard threw a pass that was intercepted by Kentucky safety (and punter) Paul Calhoun. Kentucky took possession at the Wisconsin 42 and five plays later Marc Logan took the ball in from the Wisconsin 9 for a touchdown. Joey Worley connected on the PAT with 1:29 left in the first half to make it 13-7. Wisconsin then took the ball to the Kentucky 3, with 0:02 left in the half, on four running plays, two pass plays and a 15-yard penalty against Kentucky. Gregoire then hit a 20-yard field goal. The halftime score was Wisconsin 16, Kentucky 7.With 11:28 left in the third quarter Worley hit a 22-yard field goal for Kentucky to make it 16-10 but two minutes later Gregoire hit a 40-yard field goal to keep Wisconsin ahead 19-10. Kentucky quarterback Bill Ransdell then led an 82-yard drive in 11 plays, culminating in a Ransdell to Logan screen pass for a 27-yard touchdown. Worley connected on the point after with 0:26 left in the third quarter to make it Wisconsin 19, Kentucky 17.Kentucky's next possession began on its own 22. Running back Mark Higgs took handoffs on four consecutive plays, and then running back George Adams took handoffs on four consecutive plays. in the fourth quarter Wisconsin's defense was unable to stop the two NFL-bound backs. Kentucky eventually ended up with the ball on the Wisconsin 34 on fourth down with two yards to go. Worley connected on a 52-yard field goal with 8:55 left in the game to put Kentucky ahead for the first time, 20-19. Wisconsin then drove to the Kentucky 8 with under two minutes left in the game. On fourth down and 6 yards to go Gregoire took the field for his fifth field goal attempt of the game but the snap was bobbled and Kentucky then ran out the clock for the win.Joker Phillips, then a Kentucky wide receiver and later Kentucky's head football coach, had 6 receptions for 55 yards in the game; Kentucky quarterback Bill Ransdell connected on 18 of 34 passes for 188 yards.

1985 Hall of Fame Classic

The 1985 All-American Bowl was a college football postseason bowl game between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Michigan State Spartans.

1986 All-American Bowl

The 1986 All-American Bowl featured a meeting between the Florida State Seminoles and the Indiana Hoosiers. FSU, coached by Bobby Bowden, had a 6-4-1 record going into the bowl game and Indiana, coached by Bill Mallory had a 6–5 record.

1986 Florida State Seminoles football team

The 1986 Florida State Seminoles football team represented Florida State University in the 1986 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was coached by Bobby Bowden and played their home games at Doak Campbell Stadium.

1987 All-American Bowl

The 1987 All-American Bowl featured the first meeting between the BYU Cougars and the Virginia Cavaliers. BYU, coached by Lavell Edwards, had a 9–3 record going into the bowl game and Virginia, coached by George Welsh had a 7–4 record.

1987 Virginia Cavaliers football team

The 1987 Virginia Cavaliers football team represented the University of Virginia during the 1987 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Cavaliers were led by sixth-year head coach George Welsh and played their home games at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia. They competed as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, finishing in second. Virginia was invited to the 1987 All-American Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama, where they defeated BYU.

1988 All-American Bowl

The 1988 All-American Bowl was a post-season American college football bowl game at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama between the University of Illinois Fighting Illini and the University of Florida Gators on December 29, 1988. The game was the final contest of the 1988 NCAA Division I-A football season for both teams, and ended in a 14–10 victory for Florida.

1989 All-American Bowl

The 1989 All-American Bowl was a college football postseason bowl game between the Duke Blue Devils and Texas Tech Red Raiders.

1989 Texas Tech Red Raiders football team

The 1989 Texas Tech Red Raiders football team represented Texas Tech University in the Southwest Conference (SWC) during the 1989 NCAA Division I-A football season. In their third season under head coach Spike Dykes, the Red Raiders compiled a 9–3 record (5–3 against SWC opponents), finished in fourth place in the conference, outscored opponents by a combined total of 360 to 281, defeated Duke in the 1989 All-American Bowl, and were ranked No. 19 in the final AP Poll. The team played its home games at Clifford B. and Audrey Jones Stadium in Lubbock, Texas.

1990 All-American Bowl

The 1990 All-American Bowl was an American college football bowl game that was played on December 28, 1990 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. The game matched the Southern Miss Golden Eagles against the NC State Wolfpack. It was the final contest of the 1990 NCAA Division I-A football season for both teams. The game ended in a 31–27 victory for the Wolfpack. The game represented the final game of Southern Miss quarterback Brett Favre's collegiate career. He was named the game's MVP despite his team's loss, compiling 341 passing yards in 39 attempts with one interception. The game was the fourteenth and final edition of the All-American Bowl (previously known as the Hall of Fame Classic).

All-American Bowl

The All-American Bowl was an annual postseason college football bowl game played at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama from 1977 to 1990. The game was known as the Hall of Fame Classic from 1977 to 1985.In 1986, the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame decided to relocate the Hall of Fame bowl game to Tampa, Florida, where it eventually became known as the Outback Bowl. The game in Birmingham continued as the All-American Bowl, which was played for five years under a different organizing body.

When the Southeastern Conference expanded to twelve schools and began contesting a SEC Championship Game in 1992, Birmingham officials chose to host the conference title game and abandon the All-American Bowl. The SEC championship was moved to Atlanta's Georgia Dome two years later, leaving Legion Field without any Division I-A postseason college football until 2006, when ESPN and the city agreed to establish a new post-season game, the Birmingham Bowl.

All-American Bowl (high school football)

The All-American Bowl is a high school football all-star game, held annually at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Typically played in January, the All-American Bowl is played between all-star teams representing the eastern and western United States.

16 All-Americans have been Heisman Trophy finalists, and 453 have played in the National Football League; notable alumni have included Andrew Luck, Jamaal Charles, Patrick Peterson, Adrian Peterson, Odell Beckham Jr., Eric Berry, Tim Tebow, Joe Thomas, Tyron Smith, Robert Quinn, C.J. Mosley and DeMarco Murray.The All-American Bowl was previously organized by All-American Games; in 2019, the game's broadcaster NBC Sports announced that it had acquired the game and its assets for an undisclosed amount.

Croke Park

Croke Park (Irish: Páirc an Chrócaigh, IPA: [ˈpaːɾʲc ən̪ˠ ˈxɾˠoːkˠə]) is a Gaelic Athletic Association stadium located in Dublin, Ireland. Named in honour of Archbishop Thomas Croke, it is often called Croker by some GAA fans and locals. It serves both as the principal stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).

Since 1891 the site has been used primarily by the GAA to host Gaelic games, most notably the annual All-Ireland finals in football and hurling. Both the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2003 Special Olympics, as well as numerous music concerts by major international acts, have been held in the stadium. During the construction of the Aviva Stadium, Croke Park hosted games played by the Ireland national rugby union team and the Republic of Ireland national football team. In June 2012, the stadium was used to host the closing ceremony of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress during which Pope Benedict XVI gave an address over video link to approximately eighty thousand people. Also in 2012, Irish pop vocal group Westlife had their record-breaking tour date in the stadium with tickets sold out in less than 5 minutes.Following a redevelopment programme started in the 1990s, Croke Park has a capacity of 82,300, making it the third-largest stadium in Europe, and the largest not usually used for association football.

Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys

Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys (Catalan pronunciation: [əsˈtaði uˈlimpiɡ ʎuˈis kumˈpaɲs], formerly known as the Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc and Estadio de Montjuic) is a stadium in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Originally built in 1927 for the 1929 International Exposition in the city (and Barcelona's bid for the 1936 Summer Olympics, which were awarded to Berlin), it was renovated in 1989 to be the main stadium for the 1992 Summer Olympics.The stadium has a capacity of 60,713 (67,007 during the 1992 Olympics), and is located in the Anella Olímpica, in Montjuïc, a large hill to the southwest of the city which overlooks the harbor.

Estadio Azteca

The Estadio Azteca (Spanish pronunciation: [esˈtaðjo asˈteka]) is a multi purpose stadium located in Mexico City. It is the official home stadium of the association football team Club América, and the Mexico national team. The stadium sits at an altitude of 7,200 feet (2195 meters) above sea level. With an official capacity of 87,523, it is the largest stadium in Mexico. As of 2018, the stadium also serves as the home of Cruz Azul.Regarded as one of the most famous and iconic football stadiums in the world, it is the first to have hosted two FIFA World Cup Finals; in the 1970 World Cup Final, Brazil defeated Italy 4–1, and in the 1986 World Cup Final, Argentina defeated West Germany 3–2. It also hosted the 1986 quarter-final match between Argentina and England in which Diego Maradona scored both the "Hand of God goal" and the "Goal of the Century". The stadium also hosted the "Game of the Century", when Italy defeated West Germany 4–3 in extra time in one of the 1970 semifinal matches.

The stadium was also the principal venue for the football tournament of the 1968 Summer Olympics.

Estadio Universitario (UANL)

The Estadio Universitario ("University Stadium") – nicknamed El Volcán (Spanish for "The Volcano") is a football stadium located on the campus of the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León in San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León, Mexico.

Fútbol Americano

"Fútbol Americano" was the marketing name used for the first National Football League (NFL) regular season game held outside the United States. Played on October 2, 2005 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, the Arizona Cardinals defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 31–14. The game drew an NFL regular season record of 103,467 paid fans.The name "Fútbol Americano" is Spanish for "American football," a term used to distinguish it from fútbol, which is Spanish for association football (soccer in American English). Fútbol is an approximation of the English word "football" in Spanish phonology; a more literal translation of "foot ball" is balompié, a calque term that is not used in Spanish-speaking countries other than for stylistic purposes in media.

Kyocera Dome Osaka

The Kyocera Dome Osaka (京セラドーム大阪) is a baseball stadium located in Osaka, Japan. Opened in 1997, the stadium was the home field of the Kintetsu Buffaloes. In 2005, the stadium became one of the homes of the Orix Buffaloes, a result of the merger between the Orix BlueWave and Kintetsu Buffaloes. Prior to the Osaka Dome opening, the Buffaloes played their home games at Fujiidera Stadium. The Hanshin Tigers also use the stadium as their "home field" for their season openers and their home games in August because their stadium, Koshien Stadium, is used for high school baseball tournaments during those periods.

List of American Bowl broadcasters

The following is a list of the television networks and announcers to have broadcast the American Bowl, which was a series of National Football League pre-season exhibition games that were held at sites outside the United States between 1986 and 2005. Out of the list, ESPN hosted the America Bowl the largest number of times, with NBC coming second.

Collegiate American Football in Japan
East Japan - 東日本
West Japan - 西日本
Bowl games
Major Venues
See also

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