NFL's Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers To Play At Wembley Stadium In 2013
The NFL Minnesota Vikings will play the Pittsburgh Steelers at London's Wembley Stadium on Sept 29, the league announced Tuesday night. It will be the first of two NFL games at Wembley next year. The San Francisco 49ers will face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 27. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, "Since we started playing regular-season games in London five years ago, we have heard very clearly from our U.K. fans -- they want more football. 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." This will be the Steelers' first game in London. The Vikings, which will be the home team, played a preseason game at Wembley in '83 (NFL). In London, Martin Pengelly reported the NFL claims to have a U.K. fan base of 11 million, 2 million of which consider themselves to be "avid fans." The league said that Sunday viewership of NFL games in the U.K. is up 154%, and the Super Bowl audience has increased 74% since '06. The Jaguars announced in August they would play four games at Wembley over four seasons. Later this season, the St. Louis Rams will face the New England Patriots at Wembley on Oct. 28 (GUARDIAN, 10/16).