For years, one of the ways the NFL got teams to agree to give up a home game and host an overseas game was to tie that requirement to hosting the Super Bowl: If you wanted to have a Super Bowl in your home stadium, you had to agree that you’d be the designated “home” team in a London or Mexico City game.
The resolution that the NFL owners are expected to approve today, formally adding a 17th game to the regular season, confirms that now every team will play an overseas “home” game at least once every eight years. As a result, there’s no need to make it a requirement of hosting the Super Bowl.
“Once a 17-game season is implemented, effective as of the bidding process for Super Bowl LVIII, the obligation . . . of any Super Bowl host team to play an international game shall be eliminated for any future Super Bowl bidding processes,” the NFL resolution says.
Although the NFL canceled all international games in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the league is very much committed to continuing to play overseas. The resolution passing today makes that clear, as now hosting an international game is a responsibility to be shared among all 32 teams.s