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Reports: Bears will head to London to face the Bucs

Denver Broncos v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

It looks like a schedule 2011 regular season game in London won’t be a casualty of the current work stoppage after all.

ESPNChicago.com reports that the Bucs will “host” the Bears during the 2011 season.  The story was first reported by “The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show” on ESPN 1000, then quickly confirmed by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and WDAE in Tampa.

This will be the second time the Bucs have had a home game in London.  The Patriots routed them there in 2009.

Surely, the close ties of the Glazer family to London was the biggest factor here.  Glazer owns Manchester United of the Premier League and appears to be attempting to create a foothold in England.

Another factor, of course: The Bucs don’t sell out any of their home games.

At least their fans will be able to watch this one on television.

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34 Responses to “Reports: Bears will head to London to face the Bucs”
  1. waitingguilty says: Apr 12, 2011 6:41 PM

    Congratulations. Finally someone has written a blurb about a game in 2011 that does not include the ingenious line:

    “If there is a 2011 season that is.”

    Kudos!

  2. chc4 says: Apr 12, 2011 6:42 PM

    Bucs are a joke. Sorry franchise and fan base.

  3. mtnoll says: Apr 12, 2011 6:45 PM

    Headline should read:

    Reports: Bears will head to London to face the Bucs IF there is 2011 season

  4. clawledge says: Apr 12, 2011 6:47 PM

    Bears seem to be getting some raw deals with the extra pre-season game and the London trip. Good times for a Packer fan.

  5. Lou Pickney says: Apr 12, 2011 6:48 PM

    I saw the link to this on Twitter and thought to myself that I’d bet a large sum of money that the Bucs would be the “host” team. Sure enough, that’s how it’s playing out. IMO it’s no coincidence that teams which fail to regularly sell out get stuck losing a home game on this.

  6. ar1888 says: Apr 12, 2011 6:50 PM

    They should have had The Jaguars host the game since it wouldnt have been a sell out in Jacksonville anyway.

  7. schmitty2 says: Apr 12, 2011 6:54 PM

    Now another continent can boo Cutler

  8. citizenstrange says: Apr 12, 2011 6:59 PM

    “It’s what the fans want.” — Roger Goodell

  9. Deb says: Apr 12, 2011 7:12 PM

    The one good thing that could have come from the work stoppage was killing that London game … but that dog Goodell always has his day, doesn’t he? Wish he’d get fleas.

  10. stixzidinia says: Apr 12, 2011 7:18 PM

    They need to take Roger Goodell to Japan and drop him into the reactor. It’s what the fans want.

  11. jpmelon says: Apr 12, 2011 7:21 PM

    sick of international games….the fans at international stadiums have no idea whats going on.

  12. hobartbaker says: Apr 12, 2011 7:25 PM

    Neither team gets to play the match on their own pitch.

  13. hobartbaker says: Apr 12, 2011 7:26 PM

    Hopefully it will be a tight game decided on a last minute “Field Gooooooaaaaaaallllllll!”.

  14. donttouchthedirtypenny says: Apr 12, 2011 7:45 PM

    So now the NFL will embarrass themselves in the US and UK when they cancel the 2011 season.

  15. buccaboo says: Apr 12, 2011 7:46 PM

    My season tickets just got $400.00 cheaper!!!

  16. buccaboo says: Apr 12, 2011 7:48 PM

    I agree, these foreign games are a disaster.

  17. chocopoppy says: Apr 12, 2011 8:29 PM

    Not sure why all the knuckledragging fans always hate on the International Series. How else is an elite league supposed to grow the game once revenue and markets are tapped out at home? It’s being done by many other sports. Would you rather the NFL grow their revenue by upping your ticket price $30 per game? Or shutting down network availability in favor of PPV? (don’t laugh, it could happen some day)

    Doesn’t anyone else take a little pride in seeing foreigners appreciate our sport? Yeah, a lot of them don’t know all the rules yet but there are 80k coming to each game, so something must be working. Check out nfluk.com

  18. thefiesty1 says: Apr 12, 2011 8:44 PM

    A home game for Tampa just because the owner also owns a soccer team in bloody England? American football will never catch on there. Why don’t they stop these “exhibitions” oversees. Or at least do a preseason game instead of a regular game that counts.

  19. gruder007 says: Apr 12, 2011 8:51 PM

    I don’t know why they would have picked the Bears to play Tampa.

    Tampa’s stadium would have sold out with Chicagoans making the trip to warm weather. Just ask the Dolphins.

  20. FinFan68 says: Apr 12, 2011 9:00 PM

    play the pro bowl in europe instead of a game that counts

  21. irchs1963 says: Apr 12, 2011 9:39 PM

    Do not like the current ‘over seas’ game. It is unfair to the team that is ‘designated’ as the ‘home’ team. It is a ‘home’ game in name only – home games are too important to teams.

    The NFL, if it’s going to impose and promote such games, should designate the game as a ‘road’ game for both on the official schedule and only refer to ‘home’ and ‘visitor’ on the scoreboard.
    ***But let’s face it….its all about NFL ‘revenue’ – with U.S. Fans being forgotten!! ***

  22. realfann says: Apr 12, 2011 9:55 PM

    “Surely, the close ties of the Glazer family to London was the biggest factor here. Glazer owns Manchester United of the Premier League..”

    Errrrr no.

    That’s like saying Steinbrenner had close ties with Boston because he owned the Yankees.

    Manchester is the other end of England and it’s fans and the fans of London clubs are not “close”.

  23. FinFan68 says: Apr 12, 2011 10:06 PM

    chocopoppy says:
    Apr 12, 2011 8:29 PM
    Not sure why all the knuckledragging fans always hate on the International Series.

    So self-righteous morons can have something else to complain about. Stop extending your pinkie, looking down your nose at others and put down that damn cup of tea.
    —————
    Doesn’t anyone else take a little pride in seeing foreigners appreciate our sport? Yeah, a lot of them don’t know all the rules yet but there are 80k coming to each game, so something must be working.

    If a single NFL game is played in Las Vegas, San Antonio, Los Angeles , Honolulu, or even Omaha, there would likely be 80,000 fans that would attend that as well. Not to mention that the U.S.A. town would get an brief economical boost, a few temporary jobs, etc. The NFL tried to install a league in Europe and it did not work. Interest was good in the beginning but the novelty soon wore off, fans stopped going and the league was disbanded.

    I also see the writing on the wall for potential PPV games (likely starting with playoff games) but to think that “international” games would stave that off is ludicrous.

  24. wallyhorse says: Apr 12, 2011 10:31 PM

    I see exactly why the Glazers may have specifically wanted this game in London, and there’s a very good chance to me that this actually was the case:

    They didn’t want a situation where the NFL schedules Bears-Bucs as a late-season Monday night game and many Bears fans make the trip from Chicago, dominating the stands at Raymond James Stadium and essentially turning it into an extra home game for the Bears, one that could be the difference in making the playoffs or not. Having the game in London likely prevents that.

  25. tatum064 says: Apr 13, 2011 12:04 AM

    Why the Bucs get so much love? the Glazers once had near primary ownership of Manchester United.

    Bears-Bucs as a late-season game makes no difference. the Bucs will stomp them anyway. That team is on the rise. Bears are going the opposite direction. They are heading for exposure next season.

  26. tbtrojan says: Apr 13, 2011 1:53 AM

    jpmelon says: Apr 12, 2011 7:21 PM

    sick of international games….the fans at international stadiums have no idea whats going on.
    *************************************

    Correction, jpmelon has no idea what they are talking about.
    I’ve been to every UK game (yes that dates back to the likes of the 49ers vs Dolphins, Bears vs Cowboys games & Eagles vs Browns) and I would bet everything I have I know more about the game than you do.
    Now kindly shut the hell up, if you dislike the idea then complain about that but don’t talk about the people when you obviously have no clue.

  27. dinkydonkey says: Apr 13, 2011 4:56 AM

    @jpmelon, I think you’ll find that the fans at the London game know far more than you think. As it’s played in London there will probably be a 50-50 split in support for the teams, so if there is noise when the offence has the ball that will mean that 40,000 are doing their damdest to put them off, unlike in the States where visiting fans tend to be in the minority. So next time try to engage your brain before going on the keyboard.

  28. vetdana says: Apr 13, 2011 6:00 AM

    I also see the writing on the wall for potential PPV games (likely starting with playoff games) but to think that “international” games would stave that off is ludicrous

    Folks, the NFL has been talking about PPV behind closed doors, for years now, and will initiate this just as soon as they think it will generate more dollars than the current system with tv rights. I think they are going to lose a great number of fans in the process, but it is comming ! To me it wreaks of boxing and wwe!

  29. georgegabriel9 says: Apr 13, 2011 7:40 AM

    As a huge British fan, I can tell you these games SUCK. The atmosphere stinks, and our media do a great job of pretending to know and care about American Football for one week a year. It’s embarrassing and makes those of us that do know what we’re talking about look like idiots!

    The NFL should do more to work with the clubs that are established over here and give them a chance to get involved, etc. It’s all a bit weak, how it is now.

  30. chocopoppy says: Apr 13, 2011 7:44 AM

    FinFan68 says:
    If a single NFL game is played in Las Vegas, San Antonio, Los Angeles , Honolulu, or even Omaha, there would likely be 80,000 fans that would attend that as well. Not to mention that the U.S.A. town would get an brief economical boost, a few temporary jobs, etc. The NFL tried to install a league in Europe and it did not work. Interest was good in the beginning but the novelty soon wore off, fans stopped going and the league was disbanded.

    ***********
    You don’t get it. NFL doesn’t want to bring the occasional football game to San Antonio or Vegas out of generosity. The NFL exposure in USA is tapped out. Those cities are not potential markets for a new team via relocation or expansion. But if you can sell the NFL to potentially huge markets like London, where someday a rich British tycoon will pay $5 billion to get a team. And if you ended up with a European division and the potential to reach 300 million new fans, now you’re talking some real profits for the NFL.

    Many will tell you that the British did not support the World League because it was known to be inferior. They want to see the best. This is why a soccer match in the U.S. can draw 90k if it involves Real Madrid, Manchester United, etc., whereas an MLS game might 15k.

  31. shackdelrio says: Apr 13, 2011 9:00 AM

    “ar1888 says:
    Apr 12, 2011 6:50 PM
    They should have had The Jaguars host the game since it wouldnt have been a sell out in Jacksonville anyway.”

    Nice try clown.

    Average Attendance for 2010:

    Jacksonville – 63,032
    Tampa Bay – 49,314

  32. FinFan68 says: Apr 13, 2011 9:02 AM

    @chocopoppy,
    Actually, you don’t get it. The draw in the games you mention is based on the novelty of the game, not sustainable fan interest. I suspect many that fill the stands are Americans living abroad. Expansion of the NFL is not feasible. Right now there are no less than 10 teams that are looking for a QB. There are not enough of them to go around and expanding the leage will make that worse. There is also a logistical problem by adding a team based in Europe and that team would have a disadvantage due to the increased travel time necessary. Adding an entire division is not going to happen for the reasons I have already mentioned coupled with the additional problem of trying to shoehorn 1-4 teams in a division & scheduling system that is as equitable as it can possibly get. I think it is great that European fans get the opportunity to go to a game, but those games are at the expense of at least 1 of the teams involved and shouldn’t be.

  33. dukemarc says: Apr 13, 2011 9:28 AM

    As a Packer fan, I heartily endorse this game being played in London.

  34. chocopoppy says: Apr 13, 2011 2:16 PM

    FinFan68:

    Like many fans, you are looking at this too narrowly and complaining why it doesn’t make sense NOW. This is a long term strategy. And if a city loses 1 of 8 home games, usually because they’re only drawing 40k per game, well I don’t feel too bad for them.

    As for who doesn’t get it…who is smarter and CEO material — you or Roger Goodell?

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