American Bowl Returns To Japan
The American Bowl will return to Tokyo next summer for a record 12th time, featuring two of the NFL’s most exciting teams, the NFL announced today.
The Atlanta Falcons will face the Indianapolis Colts to kick off the NFL preseason on Saturday, August 6, 2005 in the Tokyo Dome in a game matching two 2004 division champions. ESPN2 will provide live coverage at 5:00 a.m. (ET) with ESPN re-airing the game at 6:00 p.m. (ET).
The 10-3 Colts have enjoyed a standout season, led by quarterback PEYTON MANNING, who has turned in one of the most prolific seasons in NFL history. The former University of Tennessee star has thrown 46 touchdown passes and needs three to eclipse DAN MARINO (48, 1984) for the NFL single-season record.
“The Colts will proudly represent Indianapolis and the NFL next August in Tokyo,” said Colts owner and CEO JIM IRSAY. “We had a great experience in 2000 when we played in our first American Bowl and defeated the Steelers before an incredible stadium of fans in Mexico City. It will be great to show our Japanese fans what a talented group of players and coaches we have in Indianapolis.
“We also see this as a tremendous opportunity to give our hometown worldwide exposure and promote Indianapolis and Indiana in terms of trade opportunities, business development and economic growth, especially in the areas of bioscience and technology, which are top priorities.”
Japanese fans will get their first up-close look at another fantastic talent, Falcons quarterback MICHAEL VICK. Vick has played a key role this year in Atlanta’s first division championship since 1998, leading the Falcons to a 10-3 record and proving a dangerous offensive option with both his arm and legs.
“Promoting NFL football internationally is an important objective of our league, and we are proud to have been selected to represent the National Football Conference in Tokyo,” said Falcons owner and CEO ARTHUR BLANK. “We look forward to representing Atlanta and the state of Georgia during the 2005 Tokyo American Bowl Game.”
This will be Indianapolis’ first American Bowl appearance in Tokyo, and the second for Atlanta, which defeated Dallas 20-9 in 2000.
The NFL’s American Bowl series of international games began in 1986 in response to growing interest in American football around the world. Since then, 39 games have been played in 12 cities outside the United States, attracting an audience of more than two million fans.
CONTACT: PETE ABITANTE (212-450-2065)