London to Have Two NFL Regular-Season Games after Minnesota Vikings Commit
By Community | October 14, 2012
London may have two regular season games after the Minnesota Vikings agreed to play one of their eight home games at Wembley Stadium next September, vice president of public affairs and stadium development Lester Bagley confirmed on Sunday.
The NFL is scheduled to announce the date and opponent during Tuesday’s owners meetings.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are scheduled to play home games from 2013-16, but the league has said it would schedule a second London game starting in 2013, and the Vikings are the first club to participate in that endeavor.
The Vikings have not played abroad in 18 years. But they emerged as a contender after the St. Louis Rams abandoned plans to play in London in 2013 and ’14 to focus on a stadium deal in St. Louis
The Vikings are ideal candidates because they have a flexible lease at the Metrodome, where they rank 31st out of 32 teams in stadium revenue. The club also is talking to the University of Minnesota about playing at least one season, and perhaps a portion of another, at TCF Bank Stadium while its new stadium is being built.
Relocating one or possibly two games to London would not be financially burdensome to the Vikings, who do not have contractual obligations with municipalities or stadium authorities to play a minimum number of games per season like many NFL teams.
The NFL played its first annual game at Wembley Stadium in 2007. Nine teams have visited, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice.
The Rams are scheduled to play the New England Patriots Oct. 28.