LONDON (AP) — The NFL may stage a recreation in one more worldwide location as early as 2024, commissioner Roger Goodell mentioned Saturday.
Goodell spoke at a followers’ discussion board in London, which is internet hosting three video games this season earlier than the worldwide slate switches to Germany for 2 video games in November.
The league just lately confirmed that cities in Spain and Brazil are below overview as potential hosts sooner or later.
“I do see us taking part in in additional markets very quickly, as early as subsequent yr,” Goodell mentioned. “We even have three or 4 markets which can be right here this weekend and subsequent weekend which can be inquisitive about internet hosting a recreation.”
The NFL declined to remark past Goodell’s solutions on the fan occasion.
The league has made an aggressive push internationally by including a seventeenth recreation to the schedule to facilitate video games overseas and giving groups advertising and marketing rights in varied international locations.
League officers have made website visits to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil and Madrid in Spain the place they had been “constructing relationships, wanting on the stadia there, wanting on the operations companions, the infrastructure,” mentioned Peter O’Reilly, the NFL’s government vp for membership enterprise, and worldwide and league occasions, in a current media name.
Twenty-one groups are taking part within the NFL’s international markets program in 2023 throughout 14 worldwide international locations. The league has expressed curiosity in bringing video games to a number of of these markets and hasn’t dominated out placing a franchise abroad sooner or later.
Below the worldwide markets program, the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins have business rights in Spain. The Dolphins are the one crew with rights in Brazil.
With newly attained rights in Eire, the Pittsburgh Steelers are attempting to develop their fan base there in hopes of finally staging a regular-season recreation at Croke Park in Dublin.
Below the expanded schedule, NFC groups get 9 residence video games in 2024, which a minimum of opens the door for the opportunity of the Bears taking part in in Spain subsequent season.
Actual Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium has practically completed main renovations, together with a soccer pitch that retracts to make means for a man-made turf subject that can be utilized for American soccer with a capability over 80,000. Atlético Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium seats 68,000.
The primary regular-season recreation in Germany final yr was thought of successful. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Seattle Seahawks 21-16 in Munich.
The German metropolis of Frankfurt hosts two video games this season, the primary being the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs towards the Dolphins on Nov. 5.
The Jacksonville Jaguars face the Buffalo Payments on Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Jags beat the Atlanta Falcons 23-7 final week at Wembley Stadium. It’s the primary time a crew is taking part in consecutive video games overseas. They’ve one other yr left on a three-year deal to play an annual residence recreation at Wembley.
London has hosted 34 of the 46 regular-season video games the NFL has staged internationally.
“We is not going to cease taking part in video games within the UK, however we’ll play extra video games in different markets as a result of we wish to be a world sport,” Goodell mentioned. “We intend to be a world sport.”
Goodell answered the “London franchise” query even earlier than it was requested Saturday on the annual followers’ Q&A. Potential scheduling issues throughout the playoffs can be “a troublesome dynamic,” he mentioned.
Goodell has beforehand mentioned London has the capability for 2 franchises and has even floated the concept of getting a full European division of groups.
The Jaguars, although, have opened a $120 million coaching facility and unveiled conceptual designs for a $1.4 billion stadium challenge that would tie the crew to Jacksonville for many years.
Goodell all however dominated out staging a Tremendous Bowl in London or some other metropolis the place there’s no NFL crew.
“For us to play a Tremendous Bowl in a metropolis the place we don’t have a franchise, that may be fairly arduous to do,” he mentioned.
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