NFL eager to play regular-season games in Germany

Birds Eye View Allianz Arena
Getty Images

The NFL regularly plays games in England, and occasionally in Mexico. But there’s a third international market the league is eager to gain a foothold in: Germany.

Peter King writes in today’s Football Morning in America that Germany is the NFL’s fastest-rising international market, and that the NFL would like to play in Germany every year starting in 2022 or 2023.

Germany is the world’s fourth-biggest economy, trailing only the United States, China and Japan, so it’s easy to see why the NFL thinks it could be a lucrative market. (Playing games in China or Japan would be a lot more difficult because of the longer travel for teams and the difficulty of finding a time to play the game that would work for both the local fans and the American TV audience.) Germany also has a solid American football fan base, stemming from NFL Europe, and an estimated 2.2 million Germans watched the Super Bowl.

The first game in Germany would likely be played at Allianz Arena, the 70,000-seat stadium where soccer team Bayern Munich plays, on a Sunday afternoon in Germany with a morning kickoff time for American viewers.

19 responses to “NFL eager to play regular-season games in Germany

  1. I’ll be honest, even though it’s benefited me I’m against the principle of playing regular season games outside the US. However if they are going to continue Germany deserves its share. The fans over there kept NFL Europe alive when other countries showed little or no interest. If they were fanatical about the sport to turn up for that, there’s no doubt they’ll sell out any stadium that gets picked to host.

  2. It’s great that the NFL has no problem alienating its large American fan base to placate the minuscule foreign fan base.

  3. The NFL: We need your tax money to build billon-dollar stadiums in your markets, otherwise we’ll take your team away.

    Also the NFL: We want to take away home games and send them to London, Mexico, Germany..

  4. They should make these games fun for the players and their wives. They should schedule the Germany game either before or after a bye week. Then they could spend some quality time over there, and still take care of business, too.

  5. NYC to Berlin 10 hour flight time. Los Angeles to Tokyo 11.5 hour flight time. It’s about the market, not the distance.

  6. Having travelled through Europe many times this makes lots of sense but I’m not sure as a regular season game. Make it a second game the week of the Hall of Fame game or a separate exhibition or in place of the Pro Bowl. If you do that you make it $$$ worth the players while to participate and the teams will get a foothold of fans in a faraway location. There are tons of people with connections to the Armed Services of the USA and NATO in Germany. Plus like international football/soccer having lots of fans in the USA, the NFL has a healthy casual fan base in Europe. You make it in Germany in Munich or Frankfurt and people will turn out and mass transit will help bring them from far and wide. This makes $ sense, and logistical sense on lots of levels. But not as a regular season game. Travel shock, circadian rhythms being thrown off and some people just don’t travel well make this implausible IMO for a regular season game even with a bye attached.

  7. Why not take new 17th game and play ALL at Neutral sites, be it in France, Germany, London, Mexico City…or in potential new markets in the USA. That would give every team the same number of home games, making it a bit more fair than some having one more than other teams. What’s everyone think?

  8. I was against the overseas games until I actually went to one, Eagles-Jags. Wasn’t adding the 17th game in part to have more flexibility for these games?

  9. Have it be the new “17th” game, and play it on a foreign/neutral site.

    And then, how about sending 4 teams over at a time. Let two of them host one week, then swap matchups and let two others host the next week. That way, each of the four can play a home and away game for the bother of one long trip.

    Then, have those teams be exempt the following year from any foreign travel.

  10. I was watcjhing the Giro D’Italia, and what did i see? A very good looking Stadium with yard lines and endzones and uprights.
    I was not shocked, but it was such a large and well built stadium i was impressed. Think it was Milan.

    If they have stadiums dedicated to it … then they are a prime target for growth.

    The people acting like they have a legal claim to where football is played are out of touch with reality.

  11. Maybe I’ve spent too much time watching Band of Brothers today in honor of Memorial Day, but it’s wild how 75 years ago our boys were marching on Berlin, and here we are sending our millionaire athletes over to their country to play a ball game. What times to be alive.

  12. Germany is where they should have always been playing. It’s where NFL Europe was most popular and the league headquarters was there after the London team folded up shop. (You never hear Goodell and Company acknowledge the fact that the Monarchs struggled for most of their existence and closed up shop several years before the rest of NFL Europe.) Playing in London came about completely due to the fact they speak English.

  13. “The people acting like they have a legal claim to where football is played are out of touch with reality.”

    You’re the one out of touch with reality if you think giving teams an extra home game instead of making all 16 of them play on a neutral site is a great idea!

  14. You’re the one out of touch with reality if you think giving teams an extra home game instead of making all 16 of them play on a neutral site is a great idea

    The League is made up of 32 teams who decide what is most important to them and their goals to grow their League…..They are telling you by their decision that growing the game is more important than who gets to host an extra home game….

    Am guessing you were one of those vehemently opposed to the 17th game… you want it to remain yours.
    I was one here saying take the extra game and move it….not just overseas, but to neutral sites right here in the US.

    You are out of touch because you think it matters more that 65k people keep their usual 8 game home schedule while the League markets to millions more.

    Or are you attempting to say a single extra home game is going to matter in the grand scheme of things where strength of schedule is never a fair balance?

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