CINCINNATI -- This season isn't even over yet and the Cincinnati Bengals are already looking ahead to next year. That's probably wise since they'll be traveling to England.
Team officials confirmed Wednesday morning that the Bengals will play in London during the 2016 season.
The team was selected to play in the NFL’s International Series and will host a regular-season game against the Washington Redskins on Oct. 30 at Wembley Stadium.
The two teams will join the ranks of 21 NFL teams that have already played games in London during the season. The series started in 2007.
The Week 8 game will air on FOX Network affiliates and a kickoff time hasn’t been determined yet.
“We are proud to be a part of the NFL’s initiative to grow our game abroad, and we believe this game will be a source of pride for Cincinnati as well,” Bengals President Mike Brown said via a release. “It will provide a strong platform for our region’s culture and recent progress. And we’ve long known that we have fans in London and the U.K. A number have visited Cincinnati for games over the years. We know they will be out to cheer us on, along with fans from our area who choose to travel to the game.”
Head coach Marvin Lewis expressed enthusiasm for the changeup saying, “We’re excited to take our team to London and take on the Washington Redskins. We’re proud to show off the NFL game. And we always look for ways to keep a long season fresh and exciting for players. I know our players will respond well to this opportunity.”
Mayor John Cranley characterized the game as a chance for the city to “show an international audience what Cincinnati is all about.”
The mayor hopes to use the exchange as a chance to promote the Queen City to businesses and tourists in the U.K.
The Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau will also be engaged in actively promoting the city during the game.
Johnna Reeder, President and CEO of REDI Cincinnati, said, ”Cincinnati is a world-class destination for business, yet people across the pond don't often get the chance to learn about our great architecture, arts and culture, and culinary influences. Now we'll get to bring that Cincinnati experience and our rich European heritage right to London. This opens a door to tell the Cincinnati story to a new international audience that's learning what a special place this is to visit, to do business, to host high-profile events.”
Two other NFL regular season games will be played in London next year. On Oct. 2, the Jacksonville Jaguars will host the Indianapolis Colts (Wembley Stadium), and on October 23, the St. Louis Rams will host a to-be-determined NFC opponent (Twickenham Stadium).
Information about tickets and travel packages will be released later. The NFL encouraged fans to sign up for updates on the game at Bengals.com/London.
Officials said priority access to tickets will be provided to Bengals Season Ticket Members.