The Kansas City Chiefs are headed to London. The Chiefs have confirmed that they will be playing the Detroit Lions in London next year as part of the NFL's International Series. The game will take place on November 1, 2015, which is Week 8 on the Chiefs 2015 schedule. It will be televised by Fox and played at Wembley Stadium. The game time has not yet been announced but Pro Football Talk points out that the Chiefs have hinted it could be at 8:30 a.m. (Arrowhead Time) based on it being nationally televised. It should be noted that Chiefs owner Clark Hunt has been the chair of the International Committee since 2011.
"It is an honor for Kansas City to represent the NFL on an international stage," Chiefs President Mark Donovan said in a statement announcing the news. "We are excited for the opportunity this creates for our fans, our city and the global growth of the Chiefs brand."
This will be a Chiefs home game that is sent to London, which means there will be just seven regular season games at Arrowhead next season. Considering the Chiefs home field advantage, that's not ideal and the big downside to playing in London. The Lions probably aren't complaining about this though.
"We are very appreciative of the outstanding support from our fans in the UK, not only for the games at Wembley, but for all of the related NFL events we have hosted throughout the city," NFL Executive Vice President of International Mark Waller said in a statement. "We believe we have a great 2015 schedule that will continue to attract new fans to our sport and strengthen the bonds with our existing fans. To provide UK fans the opportunity to see games on consecutive weekends, to see new teams, and to attend a division game, which feature some of the most passionate rivalries in our sport, are signs of the growth and depth of our UK fan base."
I'm not sure how this matters to the Chiefs but:
NFL has told teams if they want to be considered to host a Super Bowl they must be prepared to give up home games by playing in London.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) November 5, 2014
The Chiefs are one of six teams playing in London next year, including Jets-Dolphins and Bills-Jaguars.
The Chiefs release on the game reads:
Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt has played a key role in expanding the NFL's footprint overseas. He has served as the International Committee's Chairman since 2011. The International Series has grown from one regular season game in 2007 to three games in 2014. In total, 17 clubs have played games in London since 2007. Six NFL franchises will play at Wembley stadium in 2015. The Chiefs will host the Detroit Lions, the Miami Dolphins will host the New York Jets in a division matchup and the Jacksonville Jaguars will host the Buffalo Bills.