NFL Executive Vice President Peter O’Reilly recently stated to ESPN that the league is looking at hosting regular season games in Spain and Brazil.
In a bid to expand its international audience, O’Reilly revealed that league officials were present in both Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo earlier this month to explore the possibility of NFL games to be hosted in the respective cities.
The Santiago Bernabeu – home to Real Madrid – and the Metropolitano Stadium – home to Atletico Madrid – were viewed by NFL officials during their trip to Spain’s capital.
Whilst not confirmed, Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã Stadium is the largest stadium in South America and is a potential venue to host NFL games, with the Estádio do Morumbi in São Paulo also in contention as it boasts a capacity of over 77,000.
O’Reilly commented on the venue proceedings, stating: “That’s the diligence that we do constantly. What’s the stadium like here? Could we play a game here? What does the support look like?
“So we’re not there yet in terms of timing on that… We’re spending time in those markets, building relationships and looking at the stadiums there.”
“Brazil and Spain are two strong markets and two important markets, and importantly, there are also markets that clubs are interested in.”
International NFL games are nothing new to the league, with London hosting games at Wembley Stadium since 2007 and more recently, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium which will play host again this October.
Two NFL games will also be played in Frankfurt, Germany this November as part of the league’s continued expansion in Europe as O’Reilly reveals that they are speaking to a variety of football clubs in the continent to host NFL fixtures.
He added: “There’s a lot of interest in the NFL. You’ve got some classic soccer clubs around the world who are really interested in hosting the NFL and building a relationship with the NFL.
“So the marriage of those two… there’s interest there for sure, and it’s just determining the timing and the approach.”