NFL Will Not Stage China Game In '18, Eyes '19 Instead
The NFL has dropped plans to stage a game in China in '18, and is now targeting '19 instead. NFL Exec VP/Int'l Mark Waller said the league in fact might kick off the '19 season, its 100th anniversary, in China. “It may make better sense to look at that game as an opportunity to celebrate our hundred years, in the event we can pull it off and as a way to look forward to the future,” Waller said.
The Rams' decision to postpone the opening of their new stadium from '19 to '20 gave the league some more breathing room, as the Rams – the home team for a China game – are now obligated to give up a home game for an international contest in '19. Waller said the league has so many moving parts internationally – four London games, one in Mexico, and the start of the Tottenham partnership next season when the club’s new stadium will host two games – that the league just thought it best to wait another year.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell unveiled the China plans in March '16, and internally has aggressively championed the concept of playing a game in the world’s most populous country.