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Old 01-16-2007, 05:28 PM   #1
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Default London wins right to host first game outside N. America

LONDON -- London will hold the NFL's first regular-season game outside North America, the start of an international campaign to take American football to a global audience.

"There's great history of NFL football in London, and British fans have been great fans of football over the years," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday. "We're confident that this game is going be a great success in London and will be a great foundation to play more games there going forward."

The opponents for the 2007 contest have yet to be announced, but the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants are believed to be front-runners for the game. The Dolphins, but not the Giants, are one six NFL teams the league identified as potential home teams; they would give up a home game in Miami to host the contest in London.

"They are two of the teams that have expressed an interest and we'll narrow it down to which two teams will generate the most enthusiasm for the fans in London and the broader U.K.," Goodell said.

The most likely venue is the new 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium, which will open this spring after years of delays. The other candidate is 82,000-seat Twickenham, home of English rugby.

"We're looking at both venues in terms of their readiness," said Marc Waller, vice president of NFL International. "It's important that we understand terms of readiness of both stadiums and then a financial bidding process will also ensue."

The game will be held somewhere between late September to mid-October.

Goodell will announce the teams, venue and date before the Feb. 4 Super Bowl in Miami.

NFL owners voted in October to play up to two games outside the United States every season for the next five years. The London game will be the only overseas contest in 2007.

Germany, Canada and Mexico have been identified as the other top markets for NFL games outside the United States.

"We eliminated Toronto after agreeing with the Canadian Football League that we wouldn't go there because it was already hosting the Grey Cup," Goodell said. "Mexico was discussed, as well as Duesseldorf and Hamburg."

The NFL staged its first regular-season game outside the United States in 2005. The Arizona Cardinals played the San Francisco 49ers before a crowd of 103,467 in Mexico City.

London hosted several NFL American Bowl preseason games in the 1980s and 1990s. The city also had the London Monarchs in the World League of American Football -- now NFL Europe -- but the team folded.

Goodell said fans have reacted positively to the league's overseas plan, even though it means some teams will lose a scheduled home game.

"There are fans here that we think will like the idea and respond to it because it puts your city on a global stage and the city will be showed as a world class city itself," he said.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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Old 01-16-2007, 06:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: London wins right to host first game outside N. America

hmmm. last week they said it would be held in wimbley stadium and that miami would be the "home team", thus losing a home game. i guess its not set in stone yet.
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Old 01-17-2007, 12:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: London wins right to host first game outside N. America

this wouldnt be fair to Miami, if London is going to host a regular season game then they need to get them selfs a team other wise make it a preseason game.

this wouldnt be a home game at all for Miami, London will probably sell both teams stuff, have both teams logos on the center. both teams lose practice time on the long trip.

this is just a bad idea
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Old 01-17-2007, 12:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: London wins right to host first game outside N. America

Also is it going to be a monday night game? If it is that makes for a real short week coming back to the states.
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Old 01-17-2007, 12:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: London wins right to host first game outside N. America

Will Her Majesty be in attendance?
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Old 01-17-2007, 12:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: London wins right to host first game outside N. America

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Originally Posted by memphissteelergirl View Post
Will Her Majesty be in attendance?
Who LITP
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Old 01-17-2007, 01:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: London wins right to host first game outside N. America

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Who LITP

*msg smacks bcrabt's hand*

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Old 01-17-2007, 01:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: London wins right to host first game outside N. America

I assume both teams will get their annual bye week in the week after the game. At least with this year's Mexico City game there was not a travel time issue.

I know the NFL does not want to send the dregs of the league and needs it to be a regular season game to reflect its importance, but IMHO you better be cutting your season ticket holders some serious slack on renewal prices if you are giving up a home game to a top shelf opponent.

Giving up a regular season home game is a serious competitive hit - further eveidence that the one true God which the NFL owners worship is the $.
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Old 01-17-2007, 01:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: London wins right to host first game outside N. America

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Also is it going to be a monday night game? If it is that makes for a real short week coming back to the states.
I doubt it - if it was a Sunday or Monday night game they would be kicking off after 1 a.m. in London
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Old 01-18-2007, 01:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: London wins right to host first game outside N. America

I hope the Steelers are picked when Toronto gets it's chance. The games would still be in the EST zone.

And players with criminal records (aka a portion of the Bungals current roster), those players will NOT be allowed to enter past the Canadian border if they are tipped off
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