CHICAGO (Sports Network) – The NFL will double its exposure into the United Kingdom market during the 2013 campaign, with the league announcing a regular-season contest between the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh which will be held at London’s Wembley Stadium.
The Vikings will be the host team for the Sept. 29, 2013 encounter between the clubs, which precedes an Oct. 27 matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars that will also take place at Wembley.
As part of its International Series, the NFL has been playing one regular- season contest a year in London since the 2007 season, with an Oct. 28 clash between the New England Patriots and St. Louis Rams to extend that streak. Next year will mark the first time the league will play twice a year overseas, however.
“Since we started playing regular-season games in London five years ago, we have heard very clearly from our UK fans — they want more football,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the league’s Fall Meeting in Chicago. “We are excited to play two games in London and take this next step in the growth of our game. We believe that more football will lead to more fans.”
The five previous games held in London have drawn crowds from between 76,000 to over 84,000.
“This is a unique opportunity for the Vikings organization to highlight our brand on an international level,” said Minnesota president Mark Wilf. “Playing in London provides exceptional exposure to the team, as well as Minnesota’s impressive business community and tourism industry. We are honored to represent the NFL on a global level, and we look forward to playing in front of our international fan base.”
The NFL has committed to playing at least once a year in London through 2016, with the Jaguars serving as the host team for each of the next four seasons.
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