Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie attends Arsenal's English Premier League soccer match at the Emirates Stadium in London, Feb. 1, 2015.
Eddie Keogh/Reuters

What Super Bowl? Chris Christie cheers on Arsenal in London


LONDON – Chris Christie’s Dallas Cowboys didn’t make it to the Super Bowl this year – but he did spend Sunday watching a different kind of football.

As the Patriots and Seahawks prepared to face off in sunny Phoenix, Ariz., the New Jersey governor was across the Atlantic in chilly London watching Arsenal, London’s Premiere League football club. Christie is overseas on a three-day trade mission to the United Kingdom, building foreign policy credentials for a possible presidential bid along the way.

Related: Christie joins ranks of 2016 hopefuls  

“I’ve processed some soccer, and that was about it – or football, as we should call it,” Christie told reporters after he left the stadium and was pressed about his 2016 plans. “I’m not running for anything in the United Kingdom,” he said.
For the match, Christie had some of the best seats in the house. He was in the Director’s Box, right at midfield, accompanied by his wife Mary Pat and a handful of other members of the New Jersey delegation to the U.K. Also seated in the box Sunday was Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister and head of the Liberal Democrats in Parliament. 

Christie wore a traditional red-and-white Arsenal scarf and cheered for the hometown club.

“Game was great,” Christie said. “Coming to a place like this, that’s a pretty famous place internationally for their enthusiasm, was a lot of fun. So we had a good time.”

Christie aides said he would reimburse the football club for the cost of the tickets.

Christie’s renown in New Jersey – and in some early presidential primary states – didn’t follow him across the pond. As he left the stadium amid a throng of somewhat inebriated football fans, the scrum of reporters and cameras drummed up some interest in the man at the center.

“Who are you? Who are you?” a cluster of young men started chanting around him.

The game is the lightest fare on Christie’s schedule while in the U.K. On Monday, he plans to visit Cambridge, where he’ll meet with life sciences industry leaders and lay a wreath at the Cambridge American cemetery. He also plans to meet with Prime Minister David Cameron at No. 10 Downing Street.

Chris Christie

What Super Bowl? Chris Christie cheers on Arsenal in London