NFL Officially Announces Bucs Will Host Bears At Wembley Stadium Oct. 23
The NFL yesterday confirmed that the Buccaneers will “meet the Bears at London's Wembley Stadium, with the game now officially set for Oct. 23,” according to Stephen Holder of the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES. This will be the NFL’s “fifth consecutive season with a regular-season game played in London,” and the Buccaneers will be playing their second game in three years in the city. The NFL said that the game in London “will be played in Tampa if there is no resolution of the current lockout by Aug. 1.” The Glazer family, which owns the Buccaneers and EPL club Manchester United, “continue to embrace the opportunity to take their brand abroad.” Buccaneers co-Chair Bryan Glazer said, "We are looking forward to promoting Tampa Bay's emerging young team on the world stage. We have the longest running fan club of any NFL team in the UK and look forward to seeing so many familiar faces from the Bucs UK Fan club at the game." Another “motivating factor for the Bucs: The fact they have had major difficulties filling Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, with none of the team's eight home games in 2010 reaching sellout status.” As a “consequence of moving the Bears game to London, the team will have to address ticket holders who already have paid for 10 home games.” The team said that “any ticket holders who have paid in full will receive a refund for the lost game” (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 4/19). In Chicago, Brad Biggs notes a “registry of interest” will be launched later this week at www.nfluk.com for “fans planning to attend the game in London.” Those registered will be “first in line for the opportunity to purchase tickets and, based on demand for previous London games, registration is recommended” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/19).