TOKYO — Four U.S. bases in Japan are offering tickets for the NFL American Bowl exhibition game Aug. 2 at the Tokyo Dome, featuring the New York Jets against the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tours and ticketing offices at Camp Zama, Yokosuka Naval Base, Atsugi Naval Air Facility and Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station said Thursday that they have a limited number of tickets.
The American Bowl visits the Tokyo Dome for the 11th time, and this year will make its prime time debut. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. Japan time, instead of the customary 11 a.m. start.
“We’re trying to attract a different fan base and make it more agreeable for people to do something on a Saturday night,” NFL spokesman Pete Abitante said. “We thought it was a change that it was time to make.”
In past years, the game began at 11 a.m. to give U.S. viewers a 10 p.m. Eastern time kickoff. This time, it’ll air live at 5 a.m. EDT on ESPN2 and again via tape-delay at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
Preceding the game will be a three-hour mini NFL Experience featuring a tailgate party in Tokyo Dome City, Abitante said.
Abitante said a Marine Corps color guard from the U.S. Embassy will present the colors, but no other military involvement was being considered at this point.
And “with the teams arriving on Wednesday and leaving Saturday after the game, I don’t think there will be time to visit any bases,” a custom in the past, Abitante added.