NFL lines up Spain or Brazil as new market for international games

The Kansas City Chiefs take on the Miami Dolphins on November 5, 2023

Featured image credit: Deutsche Bank Park

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has confirmed that the American football league will stage a regular-season game in a new overseas market in 2024, with a decision set to be made before the end of the year.

The NFL currently stages regular-season games in the UK, Mexico and Germany. Spain and Brazil have been put forward as potential locations for further expansion.

Yesterday (Sunday) saw the league head to a new city as Frankfurt’s Deutsche Bank Park hosted the Kansas City Chiefs’ 21-14 win over the Miami Dolphins. The stadium, home of Bundesliga football club Eintracht Frankfurt, will host a second game this coming Sunday as the Indianapolis Colts take on the New England Patriots.

Deutsche Bank Park and Munich’s Allianz Arena are alternating hosting rights until 2025. Frankfurt has ended up hosting two matches this year as Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca is unavailable due to renovation work taking place ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Last month, the NFL held three games in London, with Wembley Stadium hosting one and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium staging two. With sellout crowds a regular occurrence at all overseas games, the NFL is planning expansion into a new market next year.

“We’re looking and analysing where we go next year,” Goodell told Sky Sports. “We will certainly go to a new market next year for sure. We’re debating on that and I think we’ll have a decision in the next 30-45 days. So we’ll be ready to. I think that’ll be exciting for us.”

The NFL recently launched a Global Markets Program, which grants teams international marketing rights in specific countries or territories. Countries on the list include Australia, Brazil, France and Spain. The Dolphins and Chicago Bears have rights in Spain, while the Dolphins also have rights in Brazil.

Goodell confirmed to the NFL Network that the league is looking primarily at Spain and Brazil as new locations. “We are definitely going to play in a new market next year but we’re still debating between the two,” he said.

Goodell said last year that Germany could host more games than it is currently scheduled to amid the excitement surrounding its first fixture at Allianz Arena. Over the weekend, the commissioner said that Berlin and Düsseldorf have expressed an interest in hosting a game if the league opts for further expansion in Germany.

Düsseldorf was on the initial shortlist to host games in Germany but ultimately lost out to Munich and Frankfurt. Berlin was not on the initial list.