The NFL has determined that it will focus its global resources this year on its first overseas regular-season game -- to be held Oct. 28 in London, England, with the Miami Dolphins hosting the New York Giants.
The American Bowl preseason game in China, originally set for Aug. 9 in Beijing between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, will be rescheduled. Working in partnership with the Beijing municipal authorities, the NFL will plan to play a game at the National Stadium of Beijing in August of 2009.
"The regular-season game initiative was approved by NFL ownership after we announced the China Bowl. Therefore, we will focus this year's efforts on the regular-season game," commented Mark Waller, senior vice president of NFL International.
"Our assessment is that Chinese fans would be better served if our game in China is played at a later date after we have launched our international series of regular-season games and more effectively paved the way for the introduction of our game into China," added Waller. "As a new sport in China, it is critical that we create the best platform for the introduction of the game. We are delighted Beijing authorities have agreed with our assessment and have invited us to play in Beijing in 2009."
NFL International is presently establishing an office in Beijing and will partner with the city to build fan interest in American football prior to the 2009 flagship event.