Germany to stage two NFL games in 2023 with Estadio Azteca unavailable

Featured image credit: Herr Bohn on Unsplash

The NFL American football league has confirmed that there will be no international game in Mexico this year, with Germany set to stage two fixtures.

The Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots will each play overseas during the 2023 regular season.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will once again host two games featuring the Bills and the Titans, while the Jaguars will return to Wembley Stadium as part of the team’s multi-year commitment to playing in the UK.

The Germany games will feature the Chiefs and the Patriots, with destination cities to be announced later this year. The NFL has previously confirmed that Munich and Frankfurt will stage games over the next four years, with Munich’s Allianz Arena hosting its first game in November as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 21-16.

Allianz Arena and Frankfurt’s Deutsche Bank Park are set to alternate hosting rights until 2025 and it remains to be seen how the two games will be split this year. The Chiefs and the Patriots are part of the NFL’s International Home Marketing Area programme, through which they were awarded marketing rights in Germany.

Germany will step in to host an extra game this year as Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca will be unavailable due to renovation work taking place ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Peter O’Reilly, the NFL’s executive vice-president for club business and league events, last month suggested that Germany could host an extra game and the NFL has today (Thursday) confirmed these plans.

O’Reilly said today: “Mexico plays a critical role in the NFL’s international growth strategy, with its passionate and growing fan base. We remain committed to year-round engagement with our amazing Mexican fans and look forward to future games in Mexico.”

O’Reilly added: “Growing the league and our sport internationally is a major strategic priority for the NFL, and we are excited to again be playing five games outside of the United States in 2023.

“We know how important live regular-season games are to our passionate global fans and we thank our clubs for their strong, long-term commitment to this important initiative. Interest in our game globally is at an all-time high, and we look forward to returning to the UK and Germany in 2023 with some of the most iconic clubs and stars in the NFL.”

Allianz Arena’s inaugural NFL game attracted a crowd of 69,811, with Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady describing the occasion as “one of the great football experiences” he has ever had.