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NFL to return to UK in 2008


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NFL returning to UK

The National Football League is coming back across the pond. After playing a highly-successful game in London last October, the NFL announced today it will return to the United Kingdom for a competitive game in 2008 as part of the league?s International Series of regular-season games.

?The game in London was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the entire 2007 season,? said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. ?The fan interest was tremendous. The passion they demonstrated for our sport that day continued throughout the season, as television viewership in the UK has grown by 40 percent since the game.

?We had an overwhelmingly positive response to the event from all involved ? the teams, our sponsors and business partners and of course the fans themselves. We look forward to another spectacular event in 2008.?

Details about the game ? including the venue and competing teams ? are expected to be confirmed during Super Bowl week (January 28-February 3) in Arizona.

The game at Wembley Stadium on October 28, when the Miami Dolphins hosted the New York Giants, was the first-ever regular season NFL game to be played outside North America. A crowd of 81,176 saw the Giants record a 13-10 victory after the NFL received requests for more than half a million tickets within 72 hours of announcing the game.

In 2006, NFL owners approved a plan to stage a limited number of regular-season games outside the United States every year for the next five years.

NFL UK Managing Director Alistair Kirkwood said: ?In the build up to the Wembley game last October I said that it was an audition for future games. Clearly, the fans ? with their passion and enthusiasm ? have convinced the NFL that the UK should be rewarded with another game in 2008.

?We are very excited as we begin preparations for that game and conclude this historic season next month with BBC TV showing its first-ever Super Bowl and Sky Sports continuing its long-standing relationship with the NFL by airing the game for the 13th straight year.?

Can't wait, I'll be there for sure.

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Alistair Kirkwood has confirmed that the NFL are in advanced talks with four teams to become the home team for the proposed game in October 2008. Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Kansas City and Seattle are all looking to host only the second regular season game to be held outside of North America.

Wembley is no longer considered the preferred host, as the NFL have been to inspect the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales and Murrayfield in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The National Football League will stage competitive games in the United Kingdom in each of the next three years, beginning with the New Orleans Saints hosting the San Diego Chargers at London’s Wembley Stadium on October 26.

After a successful regular-season debut in the United Kingdom last October, when a sell-out crowd of 81,176 saw the New York Giants beat the Miami Dolphins at Wembley, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced today a multi-year commitment to play a limited number of NFL games in the UK on an annual basis.

Commissioner Goodell has endorsed the recent recommendation of two ownership committees (Business Ventures and International) to play at least one game in the UK in each of the next three years. The league previously announced on January 17 that a regular-season game would be played in the UK in 2008 and Commissioner Goodell today confirmed the match-up between the Saints and the Chargers, two teams with recent NFL playoff success.

NFL ownership has also approved a Buffalo Bills initiative to play one regular-season home game in Toronto, Canada, in each of the next five seasons.

“Playing a limited number of regular-season games internationally will help build and grow an already passionate international fan base,” said Commissioner Goodell, speaking in Phoenix, Arizona, ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl XLII between the Giants and the New England Patriots.

“The games will strengthen our partnerships with broadcasters and sponsors. The ownership resolution to play regular-season games internationally has evolved to focus on markets, including the UK and Canada, where playing games on a regular basis significantly adds to the broad appeal of our sport.”

The 2008 game in the UK will take place in Week 8 of the season and will be shown live in the United States on CBS. The kickoff time for the game will be announced in the near future.

The Saints and the Chargers are two of the most exciting, high-powered teams in the NFL, led by offensive stars such as New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and running back Reggie Bush and San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson, the NFL’s MVP in 2006, and quarterback Philip Rivers. Both teams have come within one game of reaching Super Bowl in the past two seasons, with the Chargers being beaten by the New England Patriots in this year’s AFC Championship game and the Saints losing out to the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship 12 months ago. For Saints head coach Sean Payton the game will be a homecoming of sorts, having played been a quarterback and coach for the Leicester Panthers in the UK during the 1980s.

New Orleans Saints Owner Tom Benson said: “This is a unique and exciting opportunity for our team and we are very proud to represent our region and our great fans when we travel to the UK in late October. The national and international exposure that our team, our city and our state will receive will be unprecedented. The league has been playing overseas since the early ’80s and last year was the first regular-season game, featuring the Giants and the Dolphins. The Giants used that game as a springboard to their Super Bowl run and I hope we are as equally successful.”

“We’re proud to be chosen,” said Chargers President Dean Spanos. “This is another positive step in the effort to globalize our great sport. It’s an opportunity for the NFL to show off two of its marquee teams and some of its best players. In particular, it’s going to be good exposure for the Chargers, our players and our city and another opportunity for our team to grow together. We’re looking forward to it.”

NFL UK Managing Director Alistair Kirkwood said of the long-term decision to play games in the UK: “The three-year commitment is a tribute to the growing numbers of NFL fans here. It is also due in large part to the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants, who were the pioneers of the International Series and whose outstanding support enabled us to stage such a successful event last October. This initiative gives us a sold foundation to continue to build the NFL and become an established part of the sporting landscape in this country.”

I can't wait to see my Chargers in London :D

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Bah, american football is basically the babies version of rugby. Padding and helmet FTL :(

lets not turn the thread in that direction, it's such a worn debate it's just boring.

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Being a UK'er who likes American football, this is great news - I hope teams can play here more, so I can perhaps see a game some time.

For me, I've always liked US sports, and generally disliked the sports played here. I don't know anyone else who feels the same way.

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As long as the FA doesn't leave Wembley in such a mess again after they allowed the last NFL game here. The pitch was left in a horrible mess for the last England game there >.<

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Being a UK'er who likes American football, this is great news - I hope teams can play here more, so I can perhaps see a game some time.

For me, I've always liked US sports, and generally disliked the sports played here. I don't know anyone else who feels the same way.

I'm partial to some NBA action now and again, but American football is definitely my favourite sport. Even ahead of soccer.

As long as the FA doesn't leave Wembley in such a mess again after they allowed the last NFL game here. The pitch was left in a horrible mess for the last England game there >.<

Didn't seem to affect Croatia :pinch:

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Yeah I know, Anyone who blames our horrible performance on the pitch needs a slap but still the pitch was nasty. You could still make out the NFL logo's and shields all over the pitch. It really needed relaying

I might put the superbowl on this weekend, BBC has it this time around which is good. For some reason tho they are planning on using the NFL's world commentary instead of offering Fox's which I think sucks a bit. They did say that they may change there minds tho based on feedback

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/sporteditors/20...superb_owl.html

I wish there was some way to see all the US ads tho :p But the BBC aren't allowed to show them and of course the Sky showing of it will replace the US ads with local ads. Pretty crazy that the ads are such an important part of the superbowl experience, lol

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