English fans of American professional football should abound when the Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears play the Dallas Cowboys at London’s Wembley Stadium in August.
The Bears will bring a squad of 90 to Wembley for the exhibition game with the Cowboys.
National Football League official Joe Rhein told a news conference in London last week that the NFL hoped to make the sport one of America’s biggest exports, and saw Wembley as the ideal launchpad.
“The NFL wants to make American football a truly international game. We hope to stage matches in Europe and Japan in the future,” Rhein said.
Although billed as an exhibition, or “friendly” game as it is called in England, the fans can expect to be treated to lots of action, Dallas Cowboys official Tex Schramm said.
“You can’t play American football half-way--you have to play it full out because if you don’t, you get killed.”
In their last meeting, the Bears defeated the Cowboys, 44-0.
The Cowboys see Wembley as a chance to get revenge, but as far as the organizers were concerned, the main problem was finding training facilities in London large enough to house the squads and their coaches.
Joe Rhein said the two teams would take the opportunity in August to talent-scout among the fast-sprouting British gridiron teams.
He predicted that the Wembley clash, which will be televised live to the United States for the first time, would be a sell-out for the 80,000 capacity available.