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Tuesday, October 8, 2013
NFL to play 3 games in London

ESPN.com news services

WASHINGTON -- The NFL will play three regular-season games at London's Wembley Stadium next year, hosted by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders.

The league announced Tuesday at its fall meetings that it was expanding its international series. It will be the most games the league has played abroad in one year.

This season, Minnesota beat Pittsburgh 34-27 in September, and Jacksonville will host San Francisco on Oct. 27 as part of it's four-year commitment to move a home game to Wembley.

Dates and opponents for the games will be announced when the schedule is compiled next year.

"Our fans in the UK have continued to demonstrate that they love football and want more," said commissioner Roger Goodell, who has championed overseas games for years and someday believes the NFL will have a franchise based in London.

"Both of this year's games in London sold out quickly. The fan enthusiasm for our sport continues to grow. By playing two games in the UK this year, we are creating more fans. We hope that with three games in London next year we will attract even more people to our game."

The Raiders and Falcons never have played a regular-season game at Wembley. The Jaguars' first appearance will be when they face San Francisco in 19 days.

In other notes from Tuesday's meetings:

• Several owners said the subject of changing the Washington Redskins' nickname was not discussed in any formal way during Tuesday's sessions. Goodell, who grew up in Washington as a fan of the team, said "by no means" was the name considered derogatory then.

"But whenever you have a situation like this, you have to listen and recognize some people have different perspectives," Goodell said of protests by American Indian groups about the nickname.

• The NFL approved $27 million in funding for improvements at FedEx Field. The money will be diverted from Washington's contributions to revenue sharing.

• The NFL also approved $62.5 million in funding for the Cleveland Browns' stadium.

• The league announced an agreement between USA Football and three organizations that will endorse the Heads Up Football initiative that already has been approved by more than 2,800 youth football organizations.

The American College of Sports Medicine, National PTA and the National Athletic Trainers' Association all said they are partnering with USA Football, which oversees youth football in the country.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.