The National Football League - America's most popular sports attraction - has been selected by the city of Beijing to stage a game in the Chinese capital city that will serve as the kickoff of the one-year countdown to the opening of the XXIX Olympic Games in China.
The Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots will play in the first NFL game in China - the world's fastest growing market - when the teams meet in Beijing on Thursday, August 9, 2007.
The game will be televised live in China by China Central Television (CCTV) at 8:30 PM. CCTV is China's largest TV network. NBC will carry the game live in the United States at 5:30 am PT.
Beijing is in a timezone that is15 hours ahead of Seattle.
With a capacity of 60,000, Beijing's Workers Stadium - site of the soccer competition at the 2008 Summer Olympics - will play host to the matchup between the Seahawks and Patriots, two of the NFL's most exciting teams.
|**Current Time in Beijing**|
Seattle previously participated in the NFL's international American Bowl games in Vancouver, Canada and Tokyo, Japan. In their first international game since 1998 (Vancouver), the Seahawks will seek their first victory outside the United States.
The Patriots have taken part in two international games since the American Bowl series of preseason games was instituted in 1986. They played in Montreal, Canada in 1990 and in Mexico City, Mexico in 1998. The trip to China will be the team's first game outside of North America.
Fans in China will be familiar with the Patriots and Seahawks. CCTV broadcast the NFL's schedule of Sunday Night Football games live in China throughout the 2006 season, culminating with an on-site telecast of Super Bowl XLI. Seattle and New England each appeared on Sunday night at least twice in 2006.
The game in China will mark the 42nd international contest for the NFL in the American Bowl era. There have been 40 international preseason games and one regular-season NFL game since 1986.