Image above courtesy of the Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers will play overseas for the first time in franchise history this fall, taking on NFC South foe Tampa Bay in London. The game’s date and venue location will be announced in conjunction with the release of the full NFL schedule this spring.
“I’ve had the chance to play and coach in London before and those were unbelievable experiences,” said head coach Ron Rivera, who played in London with the Bears in the 1986 preseason and coached in London with the Chargers in the 2008 regular season. “The fans are outstanding and they have such fervor for the game. It’s a great opportunity for our franchise and for our players and coaches to get international exposure.”
The three contests in London last season averaged over 85,000 fans per game.
Prior to 2019, Carolina, Green Bay and Houston were the only franchises that had not played in London since the NFL launched the International Series in 2007. Houston will join Carolina in making its debut in the UK International Series this year.
“It’s amazing the Panthers are going to play in London,” said defensive lineman Efe Obada, who grew up in the city. “One of my goals, beyond making the roster, has been to play in London, be in front of the English fans and get a sack. It would be coming full circle to be on that field. Now I have to make the team again. It’s added motivation.”
The contest is a home game for the Buccaneers, meaning the Panthers will play all eight regular season home games at Bank of America Stadium.
Carolina’s contest will be a part of five international games the NFL announced today – four in the UK and one in Mexico. Two of the UK games will be played at Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium, with two at Wembley Stadium.
In addition to London, the Panthers will play road games at Arizona, San Francisco, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Houston, Atlanta and New Orleans.