Since 2007 the National Football League has played one game every year in Wembley Stadium in London, typically with at least one good team playing a really down-on-their-luck squad. The reception has been so good that the NFL had agreed to make the Jacksonville Jaguars the home every year through 2016, starting next season. Someone's mind right now is brewing up a "at least they'll sellout" joke.
That's not all.
The National Football League announced on Tuesday that the league is expanding their annual one-game foray in the United Kingdom next year. The Minnesota Vikings will "host" the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 29, 2013 and the Jacksonville Jaguars will "host" the San Francisco 49ers on October 27, 2013.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.
This year's International game will be played between the New England Patriots and St. Louis Rams later this month on October 28.