The NFL is planning further, sustained international expansion. The league’s commissioner noted that Germany will have a regular-season game until 2025. The NFL plans to hold more regular-season games in Germany, and will likely do so sooner than expected. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told a group of fans in Munich on Saturday that the league will bring at least four games to Germany through 2025.
The current agreement includes the first game played on Sunday in Germany, plus an annual game over the next three seasons, with Munich and Frankfurt each hosting the games twice. “In our commitment, we’re going to play here for the next four years, at least, and with at least four games,” Goodell said prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks at Allianz Arena, home of Bayern Munich. “I wouldn’t be surprised if that is extended in the near future.”
The commissioner did not take questions from the media, but his comments reflected that both the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs are looking to travel to Germany next year. There are also questions about the availability of Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca in 2023, the stadium that will host the game between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 21. The Azteca Stadium could be under renovation next year as part of the preparations for the 2026 World Cup.
On October 2, 2005, the Cardinals and 49ers played the first regular-season game outside the United States at Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium, with Arizona winning 31-14, and since 2007, the league has played at least one regular-season game outside the United States every year — except 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic — in cities such as London, England; Toronto, Canada; and Mexico City. Germany has become the NFL’s top market in Europe, and Munich was buzzing the whole week before Sunday’s game, which starred seven-time Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady.