Allianz Arena to stage NFL’s first regular-season game in Germany

Munich’s Allianz Arena will stage Germany’s first-ever regular-season NFL game later this year, while Frankfurt’s Deutsche Bank Park has also been selected to host games in the coming years.

Each stadium will host two games over the next four years. The Allianz Arena game later this year will serve as one of five international fixtures played by the NFL in 2022, with one in Mexico and three in the UK.

The announcement of Munich and Frankfurt as host cities means that Düsseldorf has missed out on staging games. The NFL confirmed in October that the three cities were in discussions to host games after being invited to proceed to the ‘candidate phase’ of the selection process.

Allianz Arena serves as the home of Bayern Munich, while Deutsche Bank Park is home to fellow Bundesliga football club Eintracht Frankfurt. After Allianz Arena hosts this year’s game, the two venues will alternate hosting rights until 2025.

Home teams for all the international games will be announced in the coming weeks, with dates and matchups to be confirmed in conjunction with the 2022 NFL schedule later in the year.

Brett Gosper, head of the NFL in Europe and the UK, said: “We are looking forward to partnerships with Munich and Frankfurt that will extend beyond the games and help us to deliver accelerated growth in Germany.

“The strong interest we received underlined what a fantastic opportunity regular-season games offer for a host, ranging from significant economic benefits and global exposure to the chance to become a hub for the growth of the NFL’s fan engagement, community and grassroots activities.

“We also thank Düsseldorf, which presented a strong aligned consortium with ambitious plans. We look forward to developing a partnership there, with a potential for hosting games in the future.”

Bundesliga chief executive Donata Hopfen added: “We are pleased that the NFL has consulted with the Bundesliga in the planning of its first regular-season NFL games in Germany. These conversations have led both leagues to agree to explore the potential of a mutually beneficial collaborative partnership, which is very exciting for clubs in both leagues.”

The staging of regular-season games in Germany forms part of the NFL’s growing commitment to the country. The league recently appointed Alexander Steinforth as its dedicated general manager for the territory and is committed to establishing a permanent headquarters in the country.

In December, the NFL announced that the Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers had been granted access to Germany for marketing, fan engagement and commercialisation as part of the league’s International Home Marketing Areas initiative.

The NFL hosted five pre-season games in Germany between 1990 and 1994.

Meanwhile, London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will again host two regular-season games this year, with Wembley to also return as a host for the first time since 2019. The Wembley fixture will serve as a home game for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Wembley’s most recent deal with the NFL expired at the end of 2020, but no overseas fixtures took place that year due to the pandemic. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was the sole host of the two London games in 2021.

Speaking to TheStadiumBusiness.com in October, the NFL’s head of game operations Matt Joyce said the league was keen to go back to Wembley, and the Daily Mail reported last month that the Jaguars had struck a deal to play at the stadium next season. This has now been confirmed by the league.

Image: Herr Bohn on Unsplash