Despite their recent struggles, the Minnesota Vikings remain a popular draw, both in the United States and overseas. U.S. Bank Stadium is the crown jewel of NFL venues; a home fit for Norse kings. But next season, the team will travel to England to face the Cleveland Browns as part of the NFL’s London Games.
The NFL released its slate of four international games on Tuesday morning, which include matchups between the Saints and Dolphins, Ravens and Jaguars, and Cardinals and Rams. The Vikings will serve as road opponents to the Browns, with the game being played in Week 7 (October 22, 2017) or Week 8 (October 29, 2017).
Minnesota last played in London in 2013, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-27 behind Adrian Peterson’s two-touchdown day. That game was played at Wembley Stadium in front of more than 83,000 fans and serves as an example of one of the league’s more exciting international contests.
Next year, the Vikings and Browns will play at Twickenham Stadium, home of England’s Rugby team and site of another NFL game earlier this season. The Giants defeated the Rams 17-10 in front of more than 74,000 fans, though the Vikings’ international appeal could draw even larger crowds. The stadium, affectionately known as “The Cabbage Patch,” has the capacity to hold more than 82,000 fans.
Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf released a statement following the announcement:[quote_box_center]“We are honored to once again represent the NFL on a global level and help grow the game of football. This is a unique opportunity to continue highlighting the Vikings brand on an international stage and to give our fans around the world another opportunity to see their favorite team up close.”[/quote_box_center]
The 2017 matchup marks Minnesota’s sixth international appearance. Aside from the two regular season games — 2013 and 2017 — the Vikings have played four exhibition games in Europe and Asia, per the team’s official website.
Aug. 6, 1983: Vikings 28, St. Louis Cardinals 10 in London, England
Aug. 14, 1988: Vikings 28, Bears 21 in Goteburg, Sweden
Aug. 7, 1993: Vikings 20, Bills 6 in Berlin, Germany
Aug. 7, 1994: Vikings 17, Chiefs 9 in Tokyo, Japan