Seahawks plan to explore opportunity to play game in Canada

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson looks to pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson/AP Photo)

The Seattle Seahawks say they will "explore future opportunities to play a regular-season game in Canada" after the NFL granted the team Canada as one of its International Home Marketing Areas on Wednesday.

The Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings both were granted Canada as the NHL handed out access to 26 International Home Marketing Areas (IHMA) across eight countries.

The league says it will try to ensure clubs play their international games in their Home Marketing Area. All 32 clubs will play at least one international game in the next eight seasons.

The Seahawks specifically mention playing a game in Canada in their release. They say they have 3,300 Canadian season-ticket holders and have averaged 13,300 Canadian single-game ticket buyers over the last several years.

The Seahawks say they will invest in further engaging "12 North" -- the team's Canadian fan base. The team says its efforts will be largely focused in Western Canada.

The Vikings also were awarded the United Kingdom.

"With the geographic proximity and our already-established Canadian fans, including hundreds of passionate Season Ticket Members, Canada is a tremendous fit for us," Vikings owner/president Mark Wilf said.

The Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions, the two closest teams to the Canadian border, are not part of the initiative.

The last NFL game in Canada was a pre-season game between the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers in Winnipeg in 2019.

The Bills played eight games from 2008-13 in Toronto.

The Seahawks played a pre-season game in Vancouver in 1998 and faced the Bills in Toronto in 2012.

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