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London trip to be short for Steelers

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By Alan Robinson
Sunday, March 17, 2013, 7:24 p.m.
 

PHOENIX — Big Ben will barely have time to see Big Ben, according to the Steelers' tentative travel plans for their game in London against the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 29.

Following the pregame strategy of some other teams that played in London, the Steelers are planning to make the practice week as normal as possible. They plan to hold their primary practices Wednesday and Thursday in Pittsburgh, then fly overnight to London on a charter and go through their normal, shortened Friday practice there.

The Steelers will fly home following the game, meaning they will spend only two full nights (Friday and Saturday) in London. That is only one more night than they normally stay for road games. Commonly, they fly to the game site the day before the game, then fly home shortly after a game ends.

With such a shortened stay, the Steelers will have only a few hours Friday and Saturday to devote to sightseeing — such as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger checking out the famed Big Ben.

The Steelers have yet to formally announce plans for the first international regular-season game in its history, but they recently sent several executives to London to check out the team hotel, practice site and Wembley Stadium, where the game will be played.

This will be the first time the NFL stages two regular-season games in London in the same season. The NFC champion 49ers will play the Jaguars on Oct. 27. Both games sold out last month, with crowds of more than 80,000 expected for both.

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