The NFL is planning for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to play the Chicago Bears at London's Wembley Stadium and is stepping up efforts to sell tickets, another sign the lockout is about to end.
The league has said unless there was a new collective bargaining agreement by Aug. 1, the game would be moved to Tampa. But on Tuesday, the NFL's United Kingdom office sent an e-mail to local fans suggesting an agreement is near and encouraging them to buy tickets to the Wembley game Oct. 23.
The e-mail, obtained by Pro Football Talk, said "Negotiating teams from the NFL owners and players will resume talks aimed at getting a new Collective Bargaining Agreement agreed, which would end the fourth-month labor dispute and guarantee a fifth consecutive International Series game at Wembley Stadium. NFL General Counsel Jeff Pash says. "The principals have done their jobs, the commissioner (Roger Goodell) and Mr. (DeMaurice) Smith, and the owners and players have done their work. Now it's up to us to get things properly documented, identify any remaining points that need to be cleared up and keep driving this process toward a conclusion.''