Pats face Seahawks in first NFL game in China

Sep 25, 2006 - 12:04 AM NEW YORK (Ticker) - The NFL is headed to China for the first time.

New commissioner Roger Goodell announced on Sunday night that the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks will play a preseason game in Beijing on August 8, 2007.

"We are very excited and proud to be bringing our game to China," Goodell said. "We are also grateful to our broadcast partner - NBC and its parent company GE - and to the Beijing Sports Competition Management Center. This promises to be a memorable event."

Beijing's Workers Stadium - site of the soccer competition at the 2008 Olympics - will host the NFL game.

New England, which has won three of the last five Super Bowls, played in international games at Montreal in 1990 and Mexico City in 1998.

"It is a privilege and a honor to be selected to participate in the NFL's inaugural China Bowl in 2007," Patriots owner Bob Kraft said. "I look forward to developing new relationships and building a legacy for the Patriots and the NFL in such a great country."

Seattle, which made the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history last season, previously participated in international games in Vancouver, Canada and Tokyo, Japan.

"We are proud of the Pacific Northwest's deep cultural and business ties to China," Seahawks owner Paul Allen said.

There have been 40 international preseason games and one regular-season NFL game in Mexico City since 1986.

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