Global Road Trip

Detroit Lions fans plan for a very early tailgate party

The Detroit Lions are going international for the first time. Although regular season NFL games have been played in England since 2007, the Lions will be playing their first overseas “road trip” Oct. 26 against the Atlanta Falcons.

The teams kick off at 1:30 p.m. at Wembley Stadium, a newer venue that replaced the historic London-area site that hosted events including the 1948 Olympics, 1966 World Cup, and the 1985 Live Aid concert. 

But fans should take note: That 1:30 start is in Greenwich Mean Time. That means a 9:30 a.m. game time here in Detroit (good thing Sunday alcohol sales are now permitted at a few favorite watering holes). 

According to the Detroit Lions’ website, the team has fan clubs in a number of cities throughout the U.S. as well as ones in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and yes, even the United Kingdom. This will be the first time British fans will get an up-close-and-personal opportunity to see them at “home.” 

If you’d like to join in the fun, considering going on the road with the team. Travel packages are available through PrimeSport (the team’s official travel partner; 

By the way, the Atlanta Falcons are considered the “home” team for this game. So that means a very active fan club a little closer to Detroit will be getting ready to start the party early, as well. 

The Detroit Lions Fan Club of Atlanta was started by Tim Haley when he was transferred to Atlanta from Detroit in 1987. He’s joined with other relocated fans to start “Motown South,” as he likes to call it. 

The club has grown to more than 800 members, and moved to a new “home” bar — now at Top Golf in Alpharetta, just north of Atlanta. They support a bunch of charitable foundations, too.

While some of the Atlanta folks may be going “over the pond,” Haley says that the rest of the group will be ready to enjoy breakfast, brunch, and festivities starting at 8 a.m.