Sando reports that the NFL will be staging a preseason exhibition game next year in Beijing, China, to introduce the world's largest TV market to the most popular sports league in America.
|Are you ready for some football??!!
(Jeff Widener, AP)
China's economy is growing at a mad fast, haywire rate of 30% a year, according to NBA commissioner David Stern. Houston Rockets center Yao Ming has almost single-handedly raised the profile of basketball to his home country, which will also be hosting the 2008 summer Olympics.
Additional rationale, from outgoing commish Paul Tagliabue:
Fun fact: The NBA has three offices and 50 employees in China. I suspect a lot of their occupation involves merchandise licensing to the country. Just a guess.
It's our hope that China enjoys their first-ever pro football game, and will be hungry for more an hour later.