The Vikings are headed back to London this fall.
The NFL announced on Wednesday the Vikings will play the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 2 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as part of the International Series slate of regular-season games the league released on Wednesday. The Vikings will be the road team in London, playing a game that was originally scheduled to be at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans.
The game is slated for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff in London, meaning it will start at 8:30 a.m. Central time. NFL Network will broadcast the game.
It will be the third time the Vikings have traveled to London for a regular-season game, after winning there twice before. The team also played the first NFL game in London in 1983, traveling there for a preseason game against the St. Louis Cardinals that August, and played exhibition games in Sweden, Germany and Japan from 1988-94.
They gave up a home game in their final year at the Metrodome in 2013, beating the Steelers at Wembley Stadium for their first win of the season, and were the road team for a win over the Browns at Twickenham Stadium in 2017. Now, new Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell will try to follow his two predecessors (Mike Zimmer and Leslie Frazier) with a win in England.
The announcement means the Vikings could have an early bye in 2022, if the league gives them a week off after traveling to London. The NFL, however, did not schedule its first bye week until Week 7 last year. If the league stuck with the same schedule and slated the Vikings to play a Week 5 game after their Week 4 matchup in London, the Week 5 game could be one of the Vikings' four scheduled East Coast games (at Buffalo, Miami, Philadelphia or Washington).
The league will announce its entire 2022 schedule on May 12.
The NFL announced last December the Vikings would become one of six teams — along with the Bears, Dolphins, Jaguars, Jets and 49ers — with home marketing area access to the United Kingdom, as the league rolled out a program to expand its international reach. The Vikings engaged in a number of marketing efforts before their 2013 game in London, sending players like Harrison Smith, Kyle Rudolph and John Sullivan to the country in the offseason before the game and spending most of the week just outside London before the game at Wembley.
"We are thrilled to once again represent the NFL on a global level and to have an opportunity to play in front of our international fans," Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf said in a statement. "With our previous London games in 2013 and 2017 and our successful 2021 bid to land the United Kingdom as an international home marketing area, we have seen tremendous international support. This is another chance to directly engage with Vikings fans across the world and bring exposure to Minnesota's impressive business community and tourism industry."
The Vikings and Seahawks also got home marketing area rights to Canada as part of the deal, while four teams (the Panthers, Chiefs, Buccaneers and Patriots) got access to Germany and the Rams got access to China.
As the NFL expanded to a 17-game regular-season schedule last year, the league announced that each team will play internationally at least once every eight years, and the teams scheduled to host a ninth regular season game will be eligible to give up a home date. Because the Vikings are the road team this year, they will keep their nine regular-season home games at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Packers, who follow the Vikings with a game against the Giants at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Oct. 9, will become the last NFL team to relinquish a home game for an international date.