The NFL is continuing on its global growth plans after Commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed to media in Germany that Brazil or Spain will host a regular season game in 2024.
Goodell told media outlets that a decision on which country will be selected will be decided in 30-45 days. Another international NFL fixture would add to the current regular season games that have been held in London last October and Frankfurt this November.
“We want to grow to become a real global sport, so you have to play in more markets, clearly,” Goodell told the NFL Network in Frankfurt
“We’re looking primarily at Spain and Brazil. We are definitely going to play in a new market next year but we’re still debating between the two.”
It was revealed last September when NFL Executive Vice President Peter O’Reilly spoke to ESPN of the league’s interest in the Brazilian and Spanish markets.
The report outlined that league officials already had visited stadiums in Madrid – the Santiago Bernabeu and Metropolitano Stadium – as well as one in Rio de Janeiro – the Maracanã Stadium – for potential ground to host a regular season game.
Goodell revealed that he has already held discussions with franchise owners on the league’s latest international push, receiving “positive feedback” according to the Commissioner.
He said: “I think they completely understand the potential of it. Every one of our teams has played an International Series game, every one of them comes back with the exact same reaction and there’s clearly something powerful here. And there’s an opportunity for us to become a global sport.
“We have made it clear to our ownership that we think this is a unique time in our history and to advance our growth particularly. I think it may be the single most important growth moment in our history. Because we now get a chance to share our game.”
The NFL fixture in Frankfurt on 12 November 2023 marks the league’s second stint in Germany, as the Indianapolis Colts face the New England Patriots.
Insider Sport Analysis: Despite hosting more frequent international games and for a long period of time, it would seem the NFL is aiming to foster participation in the sport the same way the NBA has exploded in popularity overseas. Some of the NBA’s current best players are overseas born players, such as Nikola Jokić, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Dončić.