Vikings 'Host' Steelers in London Next Season

Updated: 10/16/2012 5:48 PM

The Minnesota Vikings will play a home game four-thousand miles away from the Metrodome in 2013.

The team and NFL announced they will be playing a game in London next year.

The Vikings surrender one home date off the 2013 season in exchange for "hosting" the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 29th at London's Wembley Stadium. That's week four of the 2013 NFL season.

The game will kickoff at 5:00 p.m. UK time, which is noon Central Time.

The Vikings and Steelers will both have bye weeks in week five following their game overseas.

Vikings Owner / President Mark Wilf spoke to media via teleconference from the NFL Owners Meetings in Chicago, addressing the loss of one of only eight regular season home dates on the schedule.

"We love our fans, but it's a great opportunity for the franchise," Wilf said.

Wilf added the Vikings are only committed to play one game in London at the present time.

He says the team isn't sure how the reduction of the schedule at the Metrodome will affect season ticket costs, or how tickets for the London game will be made available.

"This is a unique opportunity for the Vikings organization to highlight our brand on an international level," Wilf says in a release from the team. "Playing in London provides exceptional exposure to the team, as well as Minnesota’s impressive business community and tourism industry. We are honored to represent the NFL on a global level, and we look forward to playing in front of our international fan base."

It will be the first regular season game for the Vikings in London, and its first appearance in the UK in over thirty years - dating to a preseason game against the St. Louis Cardinals in August 1983.

The 2013 game marks the fifth international match for the franchise.  The most recent was a preseason game against Kansas City in Tokyo in 1994. The previous four games have all been exhibitions. The Vikings are 4-0 in those games outside the United States. They have also played in Germany and Sweden.

2013 marks the first season the NFL will play two regular-season games in London in the same year. The San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars will play on October 27th, 2013.
The Jaguars game is the first in a deal that will have Jacksonville hosting games in London for four consecutive seasons.

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)