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Dominik: Bucs won't ever relocate to London

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Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 03:51 AM
BAGSHOT, England -

If the NFL wants to put a franchise in London permanently it will have to find someone other than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to pull up stakes and make the move.

 Bucs general manager Mark Dominik said Friday the Bucs are a Tampa Bay franchise and will remain that way going forward.

  "This team is never going to relocate from Tampa and go to London,'' Dominik said during a team workout at the Pennyhill Park resort. "We're the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

  "I know there's been some rumblings on ProFootballTalk and anywhere else saying we may relocate, but we're very happy to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and we will be going forward.''

  Dominik was not as emphatic when asked to address reports suggesting the Bucs could be a candidate to play a home game every year in London, where the NFL is talking of staging two games each year.

  Dominik suggested the Bucs could be a candidate for such a game, but he said he has not had any discussions with members of his team's ownership or the league regarding that matter.

  "As an organization, if (the league) gets to the point where they talk about putting a team here for one game per season on a consistent basis, at that point it will be" a matter for discussion.

  "But right now I've never heard a conversation (about that). I've certainly never had a conversation with ownership about that being us, so I think right now it's still speculation.''

  Dominik admitted the Bucs may seem at this point like an obvious choice to play a game annually in London because they have given up a home game and flown here two of the last three years.

  The long travel and time-change adjustments are one reason teams have hesitated to become a part of the London series of games, but Dominik downplayed the belief that it leaves participants with a competitive disadvantage.

  "I'd say that (the travel time to London) is an hour and a half different than (what it is for) a West Coast trip,'' Dominik said. "And I do like the way we've approached it this year versus two seasons ago."

Two years ago, before losing to the New England Patriots, the Bucs flew out of Tampa and arrived in London two days before the game. This year, they arrived in London on Monday and have spent the week preparing here for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears.

  "I think it's helped our team probably prepared better to play," Dominik said. "Not only Chicago, but in Wembley. So I do actually think this was a good experience for our football team.''

  

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