CHICAGO (WSCR) — The Chicago Bears will play one of their 2011 regular season games in London, as the NFL continues to try and build a fan base in Europe.
It will be the Bears’ first game played outside of North America, but it’ll be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ second trip to London, having lost to the New England Patriots 35-7 in 2009.
And as the first team to make a repeat trip to Wembley Stadium, if the NFL decides to ever expand to England, would the Buccaneers be the first choice?
“All of the people involved with the Buccaneers, privately, are denying that there’s any desire or interest in moving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to England,” Mike Florio, of ProFootballTalk.com, said on the Danny Mac Show. “But here’s the problem, if you start sending the same team to England, and build a fan base for that team in England, and if the NFL ever decides to put a team in England, which team is going to be the natural fit? It’s the team that’s built a fan base in England.”
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While in no means is a move to England, for the Buccaneers or any NFL team, imminent, in the league’s constant quest to expand to new audiences, it might be a conversion that might continues to grow.
Last season the Bears played the first game in franchise history outside the United States, when they beat the Buffalo Bills 22-19 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.