The COVID-19 pandemic slowed the NFL’s efforts to expand its foreign-soil footprint, but after this season’s five-game docket, the league will look to move further on this front.
Few matters are more important to high-ranking NFL officials than the expansion of the league’s Europe and Mexico efforts, Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post notes. This will likely mean moves to at least double the league’s Germany and Mexico schedules, while the potential for a major England expansion remains on the radar.
The prospect of moving a team to London has died down, though Roger Goodell did not shoot down the notion there could one day be two European-based franchises one day. For now, however, La Canfora adds the concept of a “London Season Ticket” — which would feature eight games at various venues throughout the country — is on the radar. The NFL, which is playing games at four non-American venues this season, also continues to explore the possibility of playing a game in Brazil.
Prior to the format for the NFL’s 17th game being unveiled, a report indicated the league would push for 16 overseas games to give every team eight home games, eight road games and one neutral-site tilt. That has not yet come to fruition, and moving from five overseas games to nearly that would be an extreme step. The bridge to that reality could also become complicated. Said bridge might be coming by 2024, with one high-ranking source informing La Canfora there will likely be more than five non-American games by that point.
This year, five teams lost home games because of London, Germany or Mexico assignments. If more foreign-soil games are coming in two years, a scenario in which nearly half the teams in a conference are docked a home contest enters the equation. While the advantage gained by the teams that are not forced to make such a concession would be minimal, the seven-team playoff bracket rewarding one bye per conference makes such matters more important.
Goodell entertained the idea of a European division when posed that question. The longtime commissioner indicated the goal of determining whether multiple cities in Europe could house NFL franchises remains. We seem a long ways off from that becoming a serious possibility, and the NFL has not expanded nor realigned its divisions since 2002. But Goodell’s regime has refused to let the reality of overseas-stationed teams fade.
“That’s part of what we’re doing, right?” Goodell said, via Sky Sports. “We’re trying to see ‘Could you have multiple locations in Europe where you could have an NFL franchise?,’ because it would be easier as a division.”
31 comments on “NFL Eyeing Significant Expansions To Europe, Mexico Schedule”
Why don’t they bring back NFL Europa, this could help expand the brand and serve as a developmental league.
Good idea in theory, bad in practice. It’s still second rate football.
No it isn’t.
“What a great idea”, said no one except Roger.
16 foreign games would honestly make sense. 8 games per tean home, 8 away, and one international.
Except for the part about more American home fan bases having to give up home game tickets. Jaguar fans might be used to it, but good luck getting Chief, Packer, Steeler or some other home fan bases to voluntarily give up even an occasional home game. There are reasons why certain teams play in Europe more often than others currently.
Fan literally won’t have a day in the matter so who cares
Do the Europeans actually care about NFL? They have their own leagues/sports.
the NFL isn’t the cultural preserve solely of the Americans. I don’t need you to be condescending to me as a Euro
And we don’t need you Europeans constantly and persistently condescending us Americans on how things should be done, how things should be made, how things should be said, how things should be spelled, how things should be governed, how things should be played, how things should be cooked, how things should be… Like its gotten to the point where Europeans are actually more ignorant than Americans themselves contrary to the stereotype.
Sir this is a Wendy’s.
After Trump voters and moron anti-vaxxers, America has lost the right to call anyone ignorant.
And you lost the right after allowing people like Hitler and Stalin come to power.
Do you think you’re addressing an extremely elderly Russian or German?
Joe Biden: Let me start off with 2 words
Made In America
There’s a long history of coastal teams playing worse when traveling cross country. Imagine how much they’d enjoy crossing an ocean and more significant time zone differences on a regular basis.
They should be putting Goodell through a concussion protocol every time he tries advancing this moronic idea of his. The NFL has enough legal problems in America. Foreign countries have a very different attitude to players who get arrested in possession of weapons and drugs.
They’d also have a dramatically harder time getting those weapons in Europe.
That’s probably true. I’m not sure a player charged in Brazil could even be extradited back to America, so theoretically that player could languish in jail for years before his case is ever heard.
I was thinking of Europe. The Brazil idea strikes me as… far fetched any time soon.
Just give them a team already and stop robbing American fanbases of a game.
They can’t get penalties correct and want teams to fly across the ocean to play? How about getting it right in the states before we try something else. Besides nobody but the Jaguars actually want to go there and I doubt with a real Headcoach now they will want to go.
The NFL is obviously not concerned about US fans or the player’s health. Long flights, short rest, and lack of the usual team facilities should be a cause for union/fan action.
Since your team will be at a competitive disadvantage following an overseas game the union should require that every team that plays in Europe be given an extra week off on BOTH sides of the European game.
A couple of things..
The major European stadiums have excellent facilities. It feels as though the US thinks only the US has major sports.
Also, the standard flight from New York to Los Angeles is just over 6 hours. The standard flight from New York to Berlin, is under 8 hours. It’s more, but it’s not dramatic.
It would be more dramatic when you factor in that there are a lot of teams further than the Eastern Time Zone. Its like Europe thinks only Europe doesn’t believe in time zones and hours are nothing.
I thought it would be cool when the NFL added a 17th game that they play some in major college stadiums. I’d love to see two teams play in Tuscaloosa, Ann Arbor, Rose Bowl, etc. that to me would be a cooler experience than cities with minimal NFL fans
I think it’s time for Congress to mandate that professional sports leagues who use publicly-funded stadiums only to export the games elsewhere, should lose all the tax advantages and tax breaks and whatever other financial inducements and advantages that state and local governments offer them. It has to be done by Congress so that the laws affect teams in all states and so that local municipalities and states are not pitted against each other in sports leagues’ continuing extortion of taxpayers and fans. If professional teams want to move or play games elsewhere, fine, but it shouldn’t be done with our assistance.
That’s a really dumb idea. I would like it to rain gumdrops.
Absolutely ludicrous suggestion that makes little to no sense.
Yet everyone knows the asylum is run better when the inmates take control.