NEW YORK -- Despite the ongoing labor strife, the NFL has released its 2011 regular-season schedule. The season kicks off with a matchup between the last two Super Bowl champions as the Green Bay Packers host the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, September 8th in a nationally televised contest at Lambeau Field.

The first Sunday night game of the season will pit the Dallas Cowboys at the New York Jets, while the first Monday features two games with the New England Patriots at the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders at the Denver Broncos. The league's Thanksgiving Day tripleheader has the Packers at the Lions, the Dolphins at the Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers at the Baltimore Ravens.

The NFL currently remains in a lockout as owners and players are at an impasse over a new collective bargaining agreement. The sides are engaged in federal mediation.

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If the owners' lockout ends on time, the Green Bay Packers will open the NFL regular season against New Orleans on Thursday night, September eighth at Lambeau Field. The league announced its 17-week schedule yesterday. And as always, the defending Super Bowl champions will host the league's debut on NBC, and they'll face the previous year's champion Saints. It's one of four nationally-televised night games for the Packers - who will also have five 3:15 contests on Sunday afternoons. Green Bay will only play six games in the relative obscurity of a Sunday noon start, although coach Mike McCarthy likes those days the best. But he doesn't mind the later starts and the national exposure, either. One thing McCarthy's not crazy about is playing three games in 11 days around Thanksgiving. There's a Monday night home contest against Minnesota on November 14th, following by a home game against Tampa Bay on Sunday the 20th and then the early Thanksgiving game at Detroit on the 24th. In fact, the Packers are the first team in NFL history to play on all three holidays during the season. They'll play the Christmas Night NBC game on Sunday, December 25th - and they'll host Detroit at noon on New Year's Day to close out the season. The Pack will play seven games before having their bye on October 30th. Super Bowl-46 is set for February 5th in Indianapolis.

Green Bay Packer Schedule

Saturday, August 13 at Cleveland, 6:30 p.m (PREASEASON)state network

Friday, August 19, Arizona, 7 p.m. (PRESEASON)state network (Milwaukee season ticket holders)

Friday, August 26, at Indianapolis, 7 p.m., (PRESEASON) CBS

Thursday, September 1, Kansas City, 7 p.m., (PRESEASON) state network

Thursday, September 8, New Orleans, 7:30 p.m., NBC

Sunday, September 18, at Carolina, Noon, Fox

Sunday, September 25, at Chicago, 3:15 p.m., Fox

Sunday, October 2, Denver, 3:15 p.m., CBS (Milwaukee season ticket holders)

Sunday, October 9, at Atlanta, 7:20 p.m., NBC

Sunday, October 16, St. Louis, Noon, Fox

Sunday, October 23, at Minnesota, 3:15 p.m., Fox

Sunday, October 30 - Bye

Sunday, November 6, at San Diego, 3:15 p.m., Fox

Monday, November 14, Minnesota, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Sunday, November 20, Tampa Bay, Noon, Fox (Milwaukee season ticket holders)

Thursday, November 24, at Detroit, 11:30 a.m., Fox

Sunday, December 4, at New York Giants, 3:15 p.m. Fox

Sunday, December 11, Oakland, Noon, CBS

Sunday, December 18, at Kansas City, Noon, Fox

Sunday, December 25, Chicago, 7:20 p.m. NBC

Sunday, January 1, Detroit, Noon, Fox

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The Minnesota Vikings regular season schedule is out and it involves several highlight games. The team will open the season at San Diego on September 11th. The home opener is the following week against Tampa Bay. The Vikings will host Green Bay on October 23rd and visit Lambeau Field for a Monday Night game on November 14th. Minnesota plays one Sunday night prime time game at Chicago on October 16th. The Vikings host the Saints on December 28th in a rematch of the NFC title game from two years ago. The Vikings will match up with all four teams from the AFC West. Oakland and Denver visit the Twins Cities, while the Vikes play in Kansas City and San Diego. The final seven games of the season could be part of the flex schedule, meaning game times could change.

Minnesota Vikings Schedule

Here is the 2011 schedule for the Minnesota Vikings:

Saturday, August 13 - at Tennessee, 7pm (PRESEASON)

Saturday, August 20 - at Seattle, time TBD (PRESEASON)

Saturday, August 27 - vs. Dallas, 7pm (PRESEASON)

Thursday, September 1 - vs. Houston, 7pm (PRESEASON)

Sunday, September 11 - at San Diego, 3:15pm

Sunday, September 18 - vs. Tampa Bay, noon

Sunday, September 25 - vs. Detroit, noon

Sunday, October 2 - at Kansas City, noon

Sunday, October 9 - vs. Arizona, noon

Sunday, October 16 - at Chicago, 7:20pm

Sunday, October 23 - vs. Green Bay, 3:15pm

Sunday, October 30 - at Carolina, noon

Sunday, November 6 - BYE WEEK

Monday, November 14 - at Green Bay, 7:30pm

Sunday, November 20 - vs. Oakland, noon*

Sunday, November 27 - at Atlanta, noon*

Sunday, December 4 - vs. Denver, 3:05pm*

Sunday, December 11 - at Detroit, noon*

Sunday, December 28 - vs. New Orleans, noon*

Saturday, December 24 - at Washington, noon*

Sunday, January 1 - vs. Chicago, noon*

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Los Angeles city officials say if they are going to help bankroll a new NFL team's move to LA, they want to be sure that team will be around for the 20-to-30 years it takes to pay off the debt. The "Los Angeles Times" reports Los Angeles City Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller told a city council panel Monday that the city will seek "hard-and fast-agreements" that the proposed $1-billion stadium will be paid for before the tenant leaves. Under the proposal, construction would be partially-financed by $350-million in city borrowing. The NFL stadium developer, AEG, has promised to make up for any shortfall in tax revenue needed to pay off the debt. There's a fear in Minnesota that the Vikings could potentially be a team the Los Angeles group targets for relocation. There would be other teams in that mix, as well.

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The NFL and players met for the third time in court-ordered mediation at the federal courthouse in Minneapolis on Tuesday. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was joined by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, along with Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and Broncos owner Pat Bowlen among other front office personnel. NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith missed the meeting due to a family emergency. The players are expecting a decision from U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson on an injunction to lift the lockout some time this week. The NFL locked out its players on March 12th after the collective bargaining agreement expired.