The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the New England Patriots when the National Football League continues its International Series at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, October 25, 2009, the NFL announced today.
The Buccaneers and Patriots have been two of the NFL’s most successful teams in recent years, combining to win four of the past seven Super Bowls. Both clubs are strong contenders for a return trip to the playoffs this season.
The contest will mark the third consecutive year of a competitive (regular-season) game at Wembley Stadium. On October 26, the New Orleans Saints beat the San Diego Chargers 37-32 in front of an 83,226 crowd, while the New York Giants overcame the Miami Dolphins 13-10 in October 2007 on their way to winning Super Bowl XLII. The NFL has committed to playing at least one game in the United Kingdom for each of the next two seasons.
“Over the past two years, we have seen first-hand the excitement that exists for our sport in the UK,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “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.”
Joel Glazer, Buccaneers Executive Vice-President, said: “The Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization is extremely excited and honored to be chosen to participate in the NFL International Series. We look forward to being part of the NFL’s global outreach and playing our great game in front of Buccaneers fans overseas.”
New England Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said: “We are proud to be selected by the NFL to be featured in next year’s international game. We have had a lot of memorable moments in recent years. I am sure our trip to the United Kingdom next year will prove to be an unforgettable experience for our players and coaches, as well as the many fans that will travel to the game.
"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.”
The game between the Buccaneers and Patriots will take place in Week 7 of the 2009 season and will be shown live in the United States on CBS, kicking off at 5pm UK time (p.m. ET).
NFL UK Managing Director Alistair Kirkwood said: “We are very excited at the prospect of welcoming two of the NFL’s leading teams to Wembley. The continued commitment of the NFL to the UK is a tribute to everyone who has made the previous games such a success, from the fans and our partners to the teams themselves. Both the Buccaneers and Patriots have strong fan bases here and are names that will be familiar even to those who don’t follow the sport closely. We expect this to be another fantastic game and an outstanding event.”
The Buccaneers captured Super Bowl XXXVII following the 2002 season and are challenging for their third NFC South division title in the past four years. Tampa Bay will be in the global spotlight prior to next season, as Super Bowl XLIII will be played at Raymond James Stadium on February 1.
The Patriots won Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX following the 2001, 2003 and 2004 seasons and won their first 18 games last season in advancing to Super Bowl XLII. The team is bidding for its sixth consecutive AFC East division championship.
For ticket details visit www.nfluk.com