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NFLEL awards franchise to Cologne

November 3, 2003 - National Football League Europa (NFLE) News Release

THE German city of Cologne (Köln) has been awarded an NFL Europe League team, it was announced today.

The Cologne team, which has yet to be named, will play its home games at the 50,000-capacity RheinEnergieStadion.

Introducing the new franchise, NFL Europe Managing Director JIM CONNELLY said: "We have been very impressed by the enthusiasm for NFL Europe that exists in Cologne - from the city itself to the stadium management and potential commercial partners.

"We do not expect overnight success, but we believe that the level of energy and passion we have experienced in Cologne will result in significant numbers of fans coming to the games."

Connelly said that other information relating to the new team, including nickname, colours, logo and local staffing would be revealed in the coming weeks.

The Lord Mayor of Cologne, FRITZ SCHRAMMA, expressed his happiness that the 'Cathedral City' is to join the NFL Europe League. "With the new Cologne football team, our city has another top-level sporting event to put alongside the classic major sports teams like 1. FC Köln, the hockey team KEC and the baskeball team RheinEnergie Köln. This proves once again that Cologne is really an international sports city."

The new team will become the eighth European franchise to play in the 12-season history of the league, while Cologne will become the twelfth European city to stage NFLEL action.

Cologne is Germany's oldest major city, dating back to the days of the Roman Empire. With a population of more than one million, the city is renowned for its cultural and historical monuments and its thriving art scene.

The RheinEnergieStadion is the home of the 1. FC Köln soccer team, who were crowned German champions in 1962, 1964 and 1978.

The 2004 season will be contested by the Amsterdam Admirals, Berlin Thunder, Cologne, Frankfurt Galaxy, Rhein Fire and Scottish Claymores and will kick off on the weekend on April 3-4. The full playing schedule will be announced in the near future.

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