Germany Could Play Key Role In NFL's International Growth
The NFL next Sunday will play its first of four games this season in London when the Bears and Raiders meet at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and the NFL's Chris Halpin said Germany and Canada are the "markets we're looking at" for further international expansion, according to Albert Breer of SI.com. Halpin, the league's Exec VP and Chief Strategy & Growth Officer, said, "The key questions are -- both of them, we have great fan bases -- what stadium would we play in, and how would we execute it?" He said it would be "too soon" to play a regular-season game in Germany next season. However, Breer notes with the "popularity of the game in Germany, it sounds as if the NFL will be going there soon" (SI.com, 9/30). FOX BUSINESS' Jason Schott wrote the NFL is "making big inroads" in Germany, thanks to a "handful of German players breaking into the league, games being available" on DAZN, social media outreach from teams and fantasy football. DAZN football analyst Markus Kuhn said, "The Patriots see Germany as the big market, and they want to lead that market." Kuhn and Sebastian Vollmer also "host an NFL podcast, which they brought to the biggest German newspaper, BILD." It "quickly became the number-one overall podcast in Germany" (FOXBUSINESS.com, 9/29).
LOOKING AHEAD TO '20: NBCSPORTS.com's Peter King reports it is "very likely the NFL will play four more London games" in '20, while the league is "talking to Mexico officials about playing in Azteca Stadium" once again next season. The Panthers and Texans this season will become the 30th and 31st franchises to "play outside the United States." The Packers, the only other team to not yet do so, will likely be a "prime contender for a game in London" in '20. Haplin said, "Where do we go with the games, and the volume of games, going forward? That's a point of discussion right now." He said that "'absolutely' the league could play a regular-season game much further away, such as China or Australia" (NBCSPORTS.com, 9/30).