The NFC West is doing its part to help the NFL promote its game overseas.
The San Francisco 49ers, having defeated the Denver Broncos in London two seasons ago, will return to Wembley Stadium for an Oct. 13, 2013 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The NFL announced the matchup Thursday.
Around the NFC West: Oct. 11, 2012
The Jaguars previously agreed to relocate home games to London, one per season from 2013 through 2016. That means the 49ers will still play eight games at Candlestick Park in 2013, the final season before the team plans to open its new stadium in Santa Clara.
We should expect the 49ers to have their bye week upon returning from London.
The 49ers-Jaguars game kicks off at 1 p.m. ET.
The Jaguars committed to the London games after the St. Louis Rams withdrew from a commitment to play there beyond this season. The Rams are still scheduled to play an Oct. 27 "home" game against New England at Wembley Stadium. That leaves St. Louis with only seven games in the Edward Jones Dome this season.
The Rams decided against future games in London amid negotiations for stadium improvements in St. Louis.
"The message we want to send, since January, we have hired Jeff Fisher, we have gone out and gotten a very experienced coaching staff, we spent $100 million in free agency, we made a bold draft trade to help set along the future of this franchise, we've grown our television network 12 affiliates, nine states -- the largest span of affiliates in the NFL," Rams executive Kevin Demoff said in August, when the Rams withdrew from those future London games. "Everything we’ve done is to demonstrate that we’re committed to getting this right on and off the field in St. Louis. ... I think this confused the message, it confused the brand, and because of that we took a step back now and said, 'The timing’s not right.' It may be right in the future; it’s not right right now."
The 49ers have no such perception problems. Their new stadium is under construction. They're not losing any home games, either.
The NFL released the following statement from 49ers CEO Jed York: "The 49ers are excited and privileged to once again serve as ambassadors for the NFL and the game of football internationally. Our 2010 experience in London was tremendous. The atmosphere at Wembley Stadium on game day was electric. The ability for us to share 49ers football with our faithful fans internationally is a treat for everyone in our organization."