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Patriots set for Wembley fixture

New England players celebrate
New England have won three of the last seven Super Bowls

The New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play at Wembley on 25 October 2009, in the third competitive NFL game to take place in the UK.

New England have won three of the last seven Super Bowls, while Tampa Bay were champions in 2003.

Wembley secured the fixture despite interest from Murrayfield in Scotland and Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

"We are very excited at the prospect of welcoming two of the leading teams," said NFL UK boss Alistair Kirkwood.

"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."

I know that the UK is home to some of our most passionate Patriots fans

Patriots chairman Robert Kraft
Following the success of the NFL's first trip to London, in 2007, the league committed to three further games in the UK. New Orleans beat San Diego in front of an 83,226 crowd in this year's event.

The Patriots won Super Bowls following the 2001, 2003 and 2004 seasons and won 18 successive games last season before an upset title game defeat to the New York Giants.

"We have had a lot of memorable moments in recent years," said chairman Robert Kraft in a statement.

"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 know that the UK is home to some of our most passionate Patriots fans."

Tampa Bay will host this season's Super Bowl on 1 February and the team is back in contention for the title after two poor season.

The team is owned by Malcolm Glazer, who also has a controlling interest in Manchester United.

"We look forward to being part of the NFL's global outreach and playing our great game in front of Buccaneers fans overseas," said Glazer's son Joel, Buccaneers executive vice-president and chairman of the Manchester United board.

The Buccaneers, who regularly attract more than 65,000 fans to Raymond James Stadium, will give up a home game and act as hosts for the Wembley clash.

Officials from the Scottish Rugby Union, who met their NFL counterparts in October to discuss staging a game at Murrayfield, declined to comment on the announcement.

see also
London 'could have own NFL team'
27 Oct 08 |  American Football
Saints pip San Diego at Wembley
26 Oct 08 |  American Football
NFL considers Murrayfield fixture
26 Oct 08 |  American Football
Giants beat Miami at wet Wembley
28 Oct 07 |  American Football
UK mission for NFL
29 Oct 07 |  American Football
NFL fixtures
05 Jan 08 |  American Football
NFL results
26 Oct 07 |  American Football
NFL standings
26 Oct 07 |  American Football
NFL in a nutshell
19 Oct 05 |  American Football
American Football on the BBC
05 Feb 08 |  American Football

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CBS News Patriots, Bucs slated to play in London Oct. 25, 2009 - 18 mins ago
The Times Patriots to face Buccaneers at Wembley - 21 mins ago
Washington PostPats to play Bucs in London in 2009 - 42 mins ago
Sky Sports Pats to face Bucs in London - 1 hr ago
Guardian Unlimited NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers to host New England Patriots at Wembley - 1 hr ago
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