Monday, February 12, 2007
Sources say Kings will open 2007-08 in London
By E.J. Hradek
ESPN The Magazine
The NFL isn't the only North American pro sports league that will play a regular-season game in London during the 2007-08 season. The buzz around the rinks is the NHL is preparing to do the same.
According to multiple league sources, the Los Angeles Kings will open next season with a pair of games at The O2 in London. The O2 is a state-of-the-art arena scheduled to open with a series of Justin Timberlake concerts in early July. It is operated by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), which also owns the Kings.
L.A. will open its London swing with an exhibition contest before the two regular-season games. The Ducks and Canucks are two teams believed to be in the running to accompany the Kings to Great Britain.
This won't be the first time the league sent a pair of teams overseas to open the regular season. The Ducks and Canucks opened the 1997-98 season with a pair of games in Tokyo, Japan. A season later, the Sharks and Flames also traveled to Tokyo to begin the season.
The league is expected to make a formal announcement by early March.
The Dolphins will host the Giants at London's Wembley Stadium on Oct. 28, the first NFL regular-season game to be played outside of North America.
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.