Steelers may give up a home game for Mexico City

Getty Images

It’s become a given over the last decade that certain franchises never will give up a home game to play in another country. Teams like the Cowboys, Packers, Patriots, and Steelers are seen as being unofficially exempt from the rotation.

It could be time to remove the Steelers from that list.

Via Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Steelers owner Art Rooney said Friday that the Steelers could be giving up a home game in order to play in Mexico City.

“There will be a game in Mexico for the next three years, so like I said, we’ve kind of raised our hand for that one, and hopefully we’ll get selected one of these years,” Rooney said.

The Steelers have played a regular-season game in England, but they were the road team for the 2013 contest against the Vikings.

“We only have a handful of teams that don’t mind giving up a home game, and they are the ones kind of in the mix,” Rooney said. “That is definitely a challenge. It is a challenge for us. We would like to play in some of these games, but we are not anxious to give up a home game. Maybe some year, we may have to do it once.”

The league has tied hosting a Super Bowl to giving up a home game for the league’s ever-expanding international presence. Even then, the NFL will need more teams to be willing to do it, in order to fulfill the growing inventory of foreign games.

“We’re going to need maybe, let’s say six to 10 [games] at some point,” Rooney said. “That’s going to be a challenge to find that many games. I think that’s going to get a lot of discussion at this meeting in terms of where we’re going with that.”

One way to increase the number of available non-American games would be to increase the size of the regular season, a concept that has been dormant for the past few years but that lingers. Expanding to 17 games would allow all teams to host eight regular season games, with a full 16 extra games each year that could be played beyond the nation’s borders — or, in theory, at large college stadiums like Michigan, Ohio State, or Penn State.

78 responses to “Steelers may give up a home game for Mexico City

  1. Its THE Ohio State and the Niners have a worldwide fan base which is why we dont mind playing in England Mexico Japan guam turkey india Australia the moon

  2. That should please the home crowd giving up a home game in the name of NFL expansion. Screw that! Let Mexico get a team if they want to host NFL games. IMO, same for any other country. Serious question for anyone in the know: What would it take to get rid of RGI? Seriously.

  3. Unless somehow Trump actually gets elected (let’s pray not). Then I doubt they would be playing any games in Mexico. Especially if he bulls his giant wall and kills all relations with them. Scary stuff, this whole Trump thing…

  4. What NFL fan cares about games in Mexico? And if a team “must” give up a home game how about choosing from the teams that cannot even sell out their own stadiums?

  5. I’d be pissed if I were a Steelers fan. When you send a home game away from home you’re saying $>winning. Simple as that. That one game could be the win that keeps you from making the playoffs and losing out on a run like SB XL. Or could be that one win that cost you HFA and you lose a tight AFCCG on the road.

  6. no team should lose a home game, let the game count as a road game for both teams.

  7. Why should loyal fans of any team give up a home game to anybody/anywhere? If I were a PIT season ticket holder, I’d tell Rooney “If you go to Mexico, don’t come back.”

  8. the new plan is to have the most recently railroaded teams choose between appearing on hard knocks and playing in foreign countries.

    KC is now on the clock

  9. That’s right Billy… the Nation is worldwide my friends. We have fans on every continent, in every city, in every town, neighborhood and village. Probably even in outer space too, odds are some of those space station guys fly that Black & Gold flag just like the majority of us back on Mother Earth.

    Respect & Acknowledge Excellence.

  10. To do well these days in the NFL you need to do favors for Goodell. NFL is on record stating the NFL is indeed “entertainment”. Which means games can be fixed in certain ways. So Kraft should get his hand in the pro wrestling because he has Goodell eating out of the palm of his hand.

  11. Why would a team like the Patriots who have sold out every home for at least the last 15 years want to give up a home game to play in another country?

    They did play the Rams in England, but I don’t believe it was a home game.

  12. Great way for the Steelers to spread their brand and gains tons of fans. Even it they are 2k miles away there is still a lot of marketing in MX that can be done. Makes sense to me.

  13. nhpats says:
    Mar 19, 2016 8:24 PM

    What NFL fan cares about games in Mexico? And if a team “must” give up a home game how about choosing from the teams that cannot even sell out their own stadiums?

    Too bad I couldn’t hit the thumbs up a thousand times for this.

  14. telln ya, something BAD is eventually going to happen, and only then, this nonsense will stop

  15. I’m a Steelers fan who was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and I support it. The more the merrier in Steelers nation and I think it’s a great opportunity to gain more exposure for the nfl brand. If we play Houston or Dallas it would be even better.

  16. The NFL is dead set on losing the fan base. They assume the new, casual fan will become the same as the current die hard fan. They will realize the error of their way when the doe hard fan dwindles and the casual fan decides to watch hacky sack tournaments on fall Sundays. Perhaps Goodell should have a meeting with Brian France of NASCAR fame. Ask NASCAR what happened when they took their die hard fans for granted and catered to the casual fan. The casual fan went back to watching golf and tennis and the die hard fans dwindled because they didn’t like the change. It is like the NFL and NASCAR are racing t see who can flush the brand down the toilet first.

  17. Um, how fast can we build that wall? Cities lose millions when the NFL takes away their games while the owners profit even more. Keep paying for stadiums dummies.

  18. This makes a lot of sense based on all the empty seats I see at Steelers home games.

  19. Obama is visiting Cuba next week to broker the next NFL matchup for Goodell. Book it!
    CigarBowl here we come!
    Can it be considered a “home game” when everyone around you is a communist?

  20. They get the whole city for one home game? Does Mexico also have to give them Tijuana or a city to be named later?

  21. Peels, one thing you need to realize about Steelers fans is we put the league needs before our needs. We want the browns and raiders to be good because it is best for the league. We want to play in Mexico for the same reason. The thing about Steelers fans is we want what’s best for the league we helped build. If that means losing a home game then so be it. I’d rather give to the league than take like NE does. What’s good for the nfl is good for Pittsburgh, and go Raiders and Browns, we want the old rivals back anyway.

  22. It makes sense . . . the Steeler Nation travels well, plus you can chase down those tacos, enchiladas and chiles rellenos with an Iron City Beer.

  23. $$$$$ is all that the Rooneys see. Is it really fair to use U.S. taxpayer money to build your stadium and then play home games in a different country? Here’s a thought though ….. Try getting Mexican taxpayers to pay for their stadium too.

  24. As a Pittsburgh fan I think this is an awful idea. Every game matters in the NFL. No team should ever give up their home field advantage. Even for just 1 game! That could be the difference from making the playoffs or mission it entirely. Play a preseason game there. Nobody cares about those games anyway.

  25. Seems the easy (and smart) resolution to this problem would be to add teams to the league. Primarily in you know, cities and country’s the nfl wants to make billions more. Like Cuban said the fat hog goes to slaughter first.

  26. The Raiders are playing in Mexico City this year but they off-set the cost on my season tickets to reflect the one less game, So I’m cool with it.

  27. The image for this one definitely should’ve been Bumblebee Man from the Simpsons. Surprised that you missed a trick, given that the pictures are usually so on point!

  28. billytodd2013blbaad says:
    Mar 19, 2016 8:20 PM
    doesn’t matter where the steelers play….it’s ALWAYS home game!!!


    This. This is exactly why they would willingly give up a home game…to expand their out of market fan base. Pitt isn’t exactly a Megalopolis, they need to continue to maintain a large fan base outside of western PA to continue thrive.

    Right now, the Cowboys own the market in Mexico and much of the immigrant populace, too. The Rooneys (smartly) want a piece of the pie. The Cowboys are down right now and they are making their move.

  29. tokyosandblaster says:
    Mar 19, 2016 8:15 PM
    They’ll be giving up lots of games this year behind a horrible defense and a running back that is either high or broken. Or both.

    I realize that the packers were mentioned, but this article was mostly regarding the steelers.

  30. Make it the 3rd preseason game where the starters play into the second half

    there are only 8 home games a year per team

    next thing you know a home playoff game will be happening in mexico or england

  31. It’s obvious now that Goodell cares more about money and making the owners rich than he does about the game, the fans, the players and his own integrity. He would shove his own mother under the bus if it meant another million. It’s greed and it is disgusting

  32. Actually, it’s the Steelers who dominate Mexico’s NFL fan base. It’s estimated the Steelers have 170,000 more fans in Mexico than the Cowboys do. It’s been estimated the Steelers have more fans in Mexico than every team combined in the UK. Any die-hard Steeler fan knows this. There are always Mexican fans wearing sombreros and waving the Mexican flag at Heinz. There is a reason Art Rooney is volunteering a home game down there. I traveled to London for our game against the Vikings. I’ll certainly head to Mexico City for a “home game” down there as well. I hate the idea of expanding the league to include foreign teams but I’m all for the occasional game played in a foreign land.

  33. Most of you don’t probably realize this, but the Steelers brand is already VERY strong in Mexico, as well as the NFL in general. They are only 2nd behind the Cowboys when it comes to fan base. Every year, Mexican fans (who live in Mexico) travel to Pittsburgh and other NFL cities where the Steelers play road games, buy secondary market tickets, rent hotel rooms, and otherwise contribute to the economies of the cities they travel to. They could easily sell out the 95,500 seat Azteca Stadium for a Steelers game, as well as just about any decent teams that make the trip. The Browns need not apply.

  34. Teams like the Cowboys, Packers, Patriots, and Steelers are seen as being unofficially exempt from the rotation.
    Giants, Jets, Redskins, Eagles, Broncos, Seahawks, Ravens, Panthers, Cardinals, Browns, Colts, Texans.

  35. patriots123456 says:
    Mar 19, 2016 8:34 PM
    Why would a team like the Patriots who have sold out every home for at least the last 15 years want to give up a home game to play in another country?

    They did play the Rams in England, but I don’t believe it was a home game


    no they didnt they played tampa bay and destroyed them. and it was a road game for us. theyre not gonna take away that revenue from the nfl big dogs. and sorry but the pats sellouts extends over 22 years since parcells and bledsoe in 1993. you cant even sniff a spot on the season ticket waiting list.

  36. Why would any team want to do this? You take a home game away from your Fans. You take away the revenue that it generates (I’m sure the team gets compensated) for the Pittsburg area. The NFL needs to stop this nonsense. Here’s an Idea if Football is so popular around the world start another league, Like a European Football league. Oops nevermind when europe had a league no one showed up.

  37. This article makes it seem like the Steelers have refused to give up a home game in the past. Their current lease requires 10 home games not including playoffs. The only way this happens is if the regular season is expanded or the preseason is shortened. Since that is on the table, it could happen. In any event, no team should voluntarily give up a home game to play in another country. The wall just got 10 feet higher.

  38. If this is the only game that is being played in another country why don’t they just use the last pre season game for this and I think everyone would be happy.

  39. “We own the Steelers! Vikings always have owned this yellow belly squad of stoners! Vikings > Steelers”

    Lol don’t know what’s in the water in Minny but sure gives you halleucinations.

    How a team that has never won a Super Bowl “owns” a team that has won 6 I couldn’t begin to figure out. You need some math courses I think.

  40. “Teams like the Cowboys, Packers, Patriots, and Steelers are seen as being unofficially exempt from the rotation.”

    Among the many things that make a team exempt from being forced to play a home international game is being a playoff team. Since the International Series began ten years ago that rule alone made GB (9/10), NE (9/10) and Pitt (7/10) OFFICIALLY exempt almost every year, Dallas (3/10) not so much

  41. The Steelers are easily the most popular team in Mexico, (and around the world). Both teams will be at a disadvantage due to travel, time change and unfamiliar stadium but the Steelers would definitely have the “12th” man advantage, therefore home team advantage, which is why it would only be fair for it to count as a Steeler home game.

  42. nobody said rooney was a smart man…what are we doing in mexico….the steelers giving up a home game to play in mexico is STUPID!!! But what else would you expect from a obama supporter……

  43. The NFL wants every team to give up a home game for an international game. Those volunteering most get the inside track to host multiple Super Bowls. The Rams are giving up 3 games over the next 3 years in the luxury box-less Coliseum so they won’t have to give up any in the new palace in exchange for hosting the 2020 Super Bowl and 2 others over the next decade. By giving up a 2017 home game, like other cold-weather cities, the Steelers will also be hosting a Super Bowl. That’s what the growing line to play an international game is all about.

  44. to take away home games from teams and cities that sell out every home game is an absolute crime- why should other cities who contribute nothing to the NFL get the privilege to host games? if they want a team, then they need to cough up the cash to support an expansion team or get on an airplane and travel to an NFL host city

  45. The players will do anything to get out of that stink hole of a city. Maybe the moron fans will spend their welfare checks and go watch them Play there.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.