With 17-game seasons on the horizon, teams will soon play nine home games every other year. But some of those “home” games will be far from home.
Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reports that the NFL plans to require every team to play a home game outside the United States at least once every eight years, with the home games being given up on a rotating basis starting in 2022.
That would guarantee at least four teams know in advance that they’re going to be playing away from home for one game. It wouldn’t necessarily preclude the NFL from playing more than four international games a year, as some teams are willing to volunteer to give up home games more than once every eight years. The Jaguars have signaled a commitment to playing a home game in London every year.
The NFL began playing in London every year in 2007, expanded to two London games in 2013, three in 2014 and four in 2017. The league also plans to play annually in Mexico City. Last year no international games were played because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the international series is expected to return this year.