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NFL Targets Germany, Canada for International Games

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Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts carries Britain's Union Jack as he enters the field before the Jaguars met the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL football game at Wembley Stadium in London, Oct. 27, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Toby Melville

By Evan Weiner |

The National Football League has finished its London portion of the 2019 season and has one more International Series contest on the schedule in Mexico City on November 18 with Kansas City playing the Los Angeles Chargers. The NFL seems stuck in going to London and Mexico City. The league cannot get a game scheduled in China and places which had NFL Europe games including Frankfurt, Germany and Amsterdam, the Netherlands have not put together a package that would entice the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, his 31 owners and the Green Bay Packers Board of Directors.

Still, the league is looking ahead to the day when it might stage a game in Germany and in Canada, although the two most likely Canadian cities to host games, Toronto and Vancouver, are day trips away from in Toronto’s case Buffalo and in Vancouver’s case Seattle.  The NFL did have a pre-season game in Winnipeg between Green Bay and Oakland that did not go well but the Winnipeg game seemed to be a placeholder because Raiders ownership needed a place to play with the Oakland Coliseum unavailable.

The NFL is doing due diligence claiming it is different than other leagues that do business in Europe and Asia.  

“The markets we’re looking at are Germany and then Canada,” Chris Halpin, the NFL’s Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and 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? You’ve got to get strong local support, given the demands of NFL games, the size of our teams, what you need to get two football teams into two practice facilities, and into the stadium on buses. It’s a heavy lift.” The NFL has rebounded in the United States this year, good TV ratings but isn’t too popularly globally.

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.

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