Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be candidate for annual game in England

BAGSHOT, England — The Bucs aren't pulling up anchor and relocating to London. General manager Mark Dominik was emphatic Friday that the franchise will always call Tampa Bay home.

But Dominik was less emphatic when addressing speculation that the Bucs could play an annual game at Wembley Stadium. The NFL has expressed an interest in playing two games per year in London and at least one team might be asked to commit to playing a "home' game there each season.

The Bucs, owned by the Glazer family, which also owns the Manchester United soccer team, have volunteered to move a game from Raymond James Stadium to London twice in the past three years.

"I can't sit here and say honestly that I've had those discussions with anybody," Dominik said. "What I can do is say this team is not going to relocate from Tampa and move to London, emphatically. We're the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and I do know that for a fact. I know there's been some rumbling on (website Profootballtalk.com) or anywhere else saying some day we may relocate. We're very happy being the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and we will be going forward.

"I think as an organization, if it gets to the point where they talk about putting a team here one game each season on a consistent basis, certainly at that point it will be (a discussion). But right now I've never heard and certainly have never had a conversation about that being us, so I think right now it's speculation. But we've obviously been (the subject of speculation) because we've been here two of the last three years."

NFL teams have been reluctant to sacrifice one of their eight regular-season home games for the chance to promote the league overseas. While television ratings for the American Bowl series are up in London, the Bucs-Chicago Bears game at Wembley Stadium Sunday is not a sellout.

The Bucs (4-2) are tied atop the NFC South with New Orleans, but 15 of their past 16 games at Raymond James Stadium have not sold out and been subjected to a local television blackout.

By the time the Bucs play Nov. 6 at New Orleans, the team will have traveled more than 14,000 miles in the second quarter of the season alone. It's one reason the team opted to arrive in London on Monday, giving them a week to adjust to the time difference.

Would an annual game in London create a competitive disadvantage for the Bucs?

"I think once we get to that bridge, we'll cross it," Dominik said. "But I would say it's an hour and a half difference than a West Coast trip, and I do like the way we've actually approached it this year versus two seasons ago (when they flew to London just for the weekend). I think it helped our team prepare to play, not only Chicago but in Wembley, and so I do think this is actually a good experience for our football team."

Dominik said West Coast teams such as Seattle, Oakland, San Francisco and San Diego deal with extensive travel every season.

"I would look at the Seattle Seahawks and how much they have to fly each year," Dominik said. "It is what it is. No matter where they're located, they're going to have to fly a lot of hours. They have to. And when they do East Coast games, that's as long as it gets. So I think there's a little misnomer there in terms of miles."

While Dominik says he has had no discussions with Bucs owners about playing an annual game in London, he knows it might not be popular with the team's fan base if it meant sacrificing a home game.

"I can understand the fans reaction to possibly losing a home game," Dominik said. "I haven't spoken to the ownership about it once."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be candidate for annual game in England 10/21/11 [Last modified: Friday, October 21, 2011 11:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Fennelly: Dirk Koetter's apology no way to keep this fidget spinning

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It all began with a fidget spinner.

    This tweet from the Bucs, mocking the Falcons' 28-3 lead they lost in the Super Bowl against the Falcons, prompted a public apology from head coach Dirk Koetter, who called it "unprofessional and not smart."
  2. Perfection's not easy in baseball, just ask Calvary Christian

    Baseballpreps

    CLEARWATER — Of the more than 300 varsity high school baseball teams in Florida, only one has won every game this season: Calvary Christian. The Warriors are a perfect 28-0.

    Calvary Christian's Matheu Nelson (63) prepares to take an at bat during the first inning of Wednesday's (5/10/17) region baseball semifinal game between Trinity Prep and Calvary Christian in Clearwater.
  3. Rays shut out Angels to cap homestand, get back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays completed their seven-game homestand Thursday with a 4-0 victory against the Angels, a win that moved them back to .500 for the season.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) after they score on the single by center fielder Colby Rasmus (28) in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Thursday, May 25, 2017.
  4. Bucs suspended RB Doug Martin breaks his silence and says his drug problem is 'definitely behind me.'

    Blogs

    He would not talk about the drug he abused. He didn’t identify the rehab facility he entered last January or how long he was there.

    Doug Martin was contrite but optimistic about returning to the form he demonstrated as the NFL's second leading rusher two years ago.
  5. Kickoff times announced for Florida-Michigan, FSU-Alabama

    Blogs

    College football's blockbuster Sept. 2 season openers finally have kickoff times.