London snags 2007 NFL game

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 1:32 a.m.
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 reported among the top possibilities.
''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.
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