The NFL has announced that it will play a historic second regular season game in London in 2013. This is a result of the leagues international development to grow the game overseas as well as an increase of growing fan support of American football.
The league previously announced that the Jacksonville Jaguars will host the San Francisco 49ers Sunday October 27, 2013 at Wembley Stadium.
The second additional game will actually be played first when the Minnesota Vikings will host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday September 29, 2013, also to be played at Wembley Stadium.
“Since we started playing regular-season games in London five years ago, we have heard very clearly from our UK fans – they want more football,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL, who announced the final schedule of UK games for 2013 at the NFL Fall Meeting in Chicago. “We are excited to play two games in London and take this next step in the growth of our game. We believe that more football will lead to more fans.”
The Vikings will play their first game overseas since a preseason game in 1983. The Vikings will play their final season in the Metrodome before moving to HSBC Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota while their new stadium is being built.
While the Vikings are currently 31st in stadium revenue Owner/President Mark Wilf spoke on the positives of the announcement.
“This is a unique opportunity for the Vikings organization to highlight our brand on an international level,” said Vikings Owner/President MARK WILF. “Playing in London provides exceptional exposure to the team, as well as Minnesota’s impressive business community and tourism industry. We are honored to represent the NFL on a global level, and we look forward to playing in front of our international fan base.”
With Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney serving as an Ambassador of Ireland there was some talk about a possible game being played in Dublin. However, nothing has been worked out at this point.
“We are thrilled that our players and Steelers fans around the world will be able to enjoy the atmosphere at historic Wembley Stadium,” said Steelers President ART ROONEY II.
The Steelers who won in their Super Bowl IX match-up 16-6, will be their first trip to London.
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