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Fans race to snap up tickets for game at Wembley

They're going fast!

The first 70,000 tickets for the NFL game between the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium this October 25 have been sold -- including 20,000 tickets in the first seven minutes of sales -- the NFL announced today.

After selling out the initial allocation of 70,000 seats, a limited number of additional tickets have been made available to the general publicat through this Sunday's Super Bowl.

"We have been delighted with the way fans have gotten behind the game, especially considering today's challenging economic climate," said ALISTAIR KIRKWOOD, managing director of NFL UK. "The response is indicative of the must-see nature of our game and the place it has cemented in the UK sports calendar. Now that people who signed up for our registry of interest have had an opportunity to buy, we are releasing some tickets for general sale.

"For this game to have sold even more quickly than the previous two NFL regular-season games in the UK is a testament to the support and loyalty of fans here in the UK and proof of a growing audience for the sport."

In October 2007, the NFL staged its first regular-season game outside North America when the Miami Dolphins hosted the New York Giants, who won 13-10 at Wembley before going on to win Super Bowl XLII. Last year, the New Orleans Saints were 37-32 winners in their home game against the San Diego Chargers.

Super Bowl XLIII takes place this Sunday, February 1, at the home of the Wembley-bound Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida. The game, which will be televised live in the UK on BBC ONE and Sky Sports 1, will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Arizona Cardinals.

The two teams that will play at Wembley on October 25 have won four of the past seven Super Bowls. The Buccaneers captured Super Bowl XXXVII following the 2002 season, while the Patriots won Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX following the 2001, 2003 and 2004 seasons, and won their first 18 games last season in advancing to Super Bowl XLII.

The Patriots are the best supported team among NFL fans in the UK, while the Buccaneers are owned by the Glazer family - who own Manchester United - and have the oldest official fan club in the UK.

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