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NFL ponders second UK game option

Lance Moore scored off Drew Brees's second touchdown pass
New Orleans pipped San Diego in a thriller at Wembley last October

The NFL is to consider staging a second game in the UK every year following its success in bringing teams to play regular-season matches in London.

And Cardiff's Millennium Stadium has confirmed that it is one of the grounds in talks with the NFL about hosting an American football game.

Wembley Stadium has hosted two games so far, with a third set for 25 October.

League commissioner Roger Goodell said: "The fan reaction we have had in London has been extraordinary."

The NFL first staged a regular-season game in London in 2007, when the New York Giants beat the Miami Dolphins 13-10.

Last year, the New Orleans Saints overcame the San Diego Chargers 37-32.

Both games were sell-outs, and fans quickly snapped up tickets for this season's game between the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


"We would like to feed that passion," added Goodell.

"There have been discussions [about] a second game in another UK market - that's something that we'll evaluate."

The 74,000-capacity Millennium Stadium has previously hosted FA Cup and League Cup finals, the Rugby World Cup final, the Rugby League Challenge Cup final and is home to Wales' national rugby and soccer teams.

Wembley beat off competition from the Millennium Stadium and Murrayfield to stage the one current NFL fixture outside the United States.

But now the Cardiff arena is hoping for a second chance as the Millennium Stadium's head of marketing Gwyn Dolphin admitted: "The Millennium Stadium and NFL have held discussions for some time.

"The news that the National Football League is looking to stage an additional event in the UK is an attractive prospect for all fans of the sport.

"The discussions are a result of our ability to attract the biggest and the best to the Millennium Stadium."

Goodell said there are no plans to play a Super Bowl in London, but added a second regular-season game was drawing support from league owners.

"I think the teams that have gone over [to London] have had a great experience," he said.

"We've been able to build on that, and I think teams recognise it's an honour and a privilege to play there. And it can be done without impacting them negatively."

However, some players have been critical of the overseas game because of the extensive travel involved in the middle of the season.

One team also loses a home fixture in the arrangement.

"The negative is taking the home game away from the fans," Goodell admitted.

"It's another reason why potentially restructuring the season and changing two pre-season (games) into regular-season (games) can be something that is beneficial to the fans."

see also
NFL in talks on London Super Bowl
24 Apr 09 |  American Football
Patriots set for Wembley fixture
01 Dec 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
UK venues in line for NFL first
03 Nov 06 |  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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