Pats to play Bucs in London in 2009
42 minutes ago
Buzz Up PrintLONDON (AP)—The New England Patriots will play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next season at Wembley Stadium, the third straight year the NFL will stage a regular-season game in the British capital.
The game will be played Oct. 25. The Bucs will be listed as the home team, giving up a game in Tampa.
“Over the past two years, we have seen firsthand the excitement that exists for our sport in the UK,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday in a statement. “The games have helped us to deepen our connection with our UK fans as well as create new ones. We are looking forward to another outstanding game in 2009.”
Five weeks ago, the New Orleans Saints beat the San Diego Chargers 37-32 before 83,000 fans at Wembley. Last season, the New York Giants defeated the Miami Dolphins 13-10. Both games were sold out.
The NFL is also expected to play a regular-season game in London in 2010.
The Buccaneers are owned by the Glazer family, the same group that runs defending Premier League champion Manchester United.
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization is extremely excited and honored to be chosen to participate in the NFL international series,” Buccaneers executive vice president Joel Glazer said. “We look forward to being part of the NFL’s global outreach and playing our great game in front of Buccaneers fans overseas.”
The Patriots and Buccaneers have combined to win four of the past seven Super Bowls, although New England lost to the Giants in last season’s title game. The Patriots won the Super Bowl following the 2001, ‘03 and ‘04 seasons, while the Bucs won the championship after the ‘02 season.
“We have had a lot of memorable moments in recent years,” Patriots chairman Robert Kraft said. “I think it is fitting that New England’s first game to be played outside of North America will be in England. I know that the UK is home to some of our most passionate Patriots fans and we look forward to the experience.”