NBA & NFL play games in Europe

Two of the four major professional sports leagues in the USA will be heading to Europe in October to showcase their talent.  Both the National Football League and the National Basketball Association have schedule games to promote their sports to European crowds.

The NBA is up first, they tip off their NBA Europe Live 2008 on October 9th.  They will play 4 games across Europe over 8 days; games will be played in Barcelona, Berlin, London and Paris.  The exhibition games, sponsored by EA Sports, will feature the Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets and Washington Wizards.  The games are preseason games that will not count towards playoff standings, but should have large crowds turn out because basketball is one of most popular sports in Europe, after soccer.

NBA players opinion’s on travelling to Europe to play are not quite as optimistic as NBA league officials.  Evidence of this was the comment that Washington Wizards guard Antonio Daniels made to the Washington Post this week.

When asked if he was looking forward to the trip to play in Europe Daniels said, “You want me to say it honestly, or politically correct?”.  I have a feeling that Daniels might get a phone call from the NBA Commissioner David Stern very soon.

Like the NBA, the NFL also has a game scheduled in Europe in October 2008.  Unlike the NBA games, this NFL game is a regular-season game that will count towards playoff standings.  On October 26th, the San Diego Chargers will play the New Orleans Saints at Wembley Stadium in London, England.  The game will kick off at 5PM, so it can be broadcast back in the United States.

The inaugural regular-season NFL game was played in Wembley Stadium in 2007.  The New York Giants defeated the Miami Dolphins 13-10 in London, and went on to win the Super Bowl in Phoenix a few months later.  So maybe winning abroad will become a catalyst to winning the Super Bowl, and the Chargers and Saints game winner will be victorious in Tampa in February 2009.

Click here to buy tickets to the Saints vs Chargers in Wembley Stadium.

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