Packers and Raiders to reportedly play preseason game in Winnipeg

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

For the first time in six years, the NFL is returning to Canada.

According to a report in the Winnipeg Free Press, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League are close to securing a preseason game between the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers. The matchup would take place in Week 3 of the preseason, although the exact date in late August is not set yet.

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A potential game at IG Field was first reported in March by the paper with Winnipeg reportedly beating out Regina and Edmonton for a potential game. Although Winnipeg doesn’t have much of a connection to either team, it’s about an 11-hour drive from Green Bay, due north of the North Dakota-Minnesota border.

“We’re optimistic that we can secure this game,” Blue Bombers senior director of public and player relations Darren Cameron said. “It’s looking good and we’re working towards that game but at this point there’s nothing more we can comment on.”

The NFL is close to securing its first game in Winnipeg. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
The NFL is close to securing its first game in Winnipeg. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The NFL last played a game in Canada in December 2013 when the Buffalo Bills hosted the Atlanta Falcons in Toronto. That was the sixth straight year the Bills played a game at the Rogers Centre.

Although this would be the NFL’s first game in Winnipeg, the league has hosted a bevy of games in other Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Montreal, Hamilton and Ottawa. The NFL even had a series against the CFL between 1950 and 1961 with NFL teams winning all six games.

This will be the fourth straight year that the Raiders played a game outside the US. They’re also scheduled to play the Chicago Bears at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in Week 5 and briefly considered playing all of their home games in London.

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