NFL names Bucs and Bears for UK game- 19 Apr 2011 00:00:00
Despite the ongoing lock-out between the NFL and its players over the collective bargaining agreement, the league has announced details of the annual regular season game in the UK with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosting the Chicago Bears on Sunday, 23rd October.
The fifth annual regular season game in the UK will again be played at Wembley Stadium in London at 6:00 p.m. local time (1:00 p.m. ET) with the full 2011 NFL schedule to be announced at midnight UK time on Tuesday 19th April on www.nfl.com.
The NFL is pushing ahead with plans for the UK game despite the league locked in negotiations with its players over the CBA, detailing salary regulations for the franchises, which must be agreed before the 2011/12 season gets under way.
‘Our past four games in London have demonstrated the tremendous passion for NFL football that exists in the UK,’ said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
‘We hope by staging another extraordinary game at Wembley that we can continue to grow our existing fan base and attract even more new fans.’
For the Bears it will be a return to Wembley on the 25th anniversary of playing in the first official NFL game staged in the UK. The Buccaneers also feature prominently in the NFL’s history at the stadium, having played a home game there against the New England Patriots in 2009.
FOX will provide live television coverage in the United States while live coverage in the UK will air on Sky Sports and BBC Radio, with highlights on BBC TV.
Should the current NFL labour situation be unresolved by 1st August, the game will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
For fans planning to attend the game, a registry of interest will be launched later this week at www.nfluk.com. Those registered will be first in line for the opportunity to purchase tickets and, based on demand for previous London games, registration is recommended.