NFL to stage first game in Brazil, SoFi Stadium to host Super Bowl again

Featured image credit: Leonardo Lourenço/Portal da Copa/CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED/Edited for size

The NFL has announced plans for a landmark regular-season game in Brazil next year, while SoFi Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers, has been awarded hosting rights for the 2027 Super Bowl.

NFL teams have also voted to approve an increase in league-operated international game inventory from four up to eight games a season beginning in 2025, as part of the league’s plans to continue its global expansion.

Next year’s game in Brazil will mark the NFL’s first ever visit to South America. The game will be held at São Paulo’s Neo Química Arena, home of Campeonato Brasileiro Série A football team Corinthians.

The stadium, also known as Corinthians Arena, has a capacity of around 49,000 and was used during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. The announcement comes after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed last month that the league would stage a regular-season game in a new overseas market in 2024, with Spain and Brazil put forward as potential locations.

The NFL currently stages games at London’s Wembley Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as well as Allianz Arena and Deutsche Bank Park in Germany. The league has also staged games at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

The game in São Paulo will be one of five overseas regular-season games to be held in 2024. Two will be played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, while Wembley and Allianz Arena will stage one each.

The NFL said that Brazil is home to 38 million fans, making it the league’s second largest international fan base after Mexico. Designated teams for the 2024 international games will be announced in early 2024.

Goodell said: “Bringing the NFL to new continents, countries and cities around the world is a critical element of our plan to continue to grow the game globally. Brazil has established itself as a key market for the NFL, and we are excited to be playing in Brazil and São Paulo for the first time in 2024.

“We look forward to working with the city of São Paulo, SP Turis and Corinthians Arena to deliver a world-class game day experience for this passionate and growing fan base.”

Yesterday’s vote by NFL teams will give the league the right to stage up to eight regular-season games per season internationally. New markets, host cities and stadiums for future seasons will be announced at later dates.

Goodell said that becoming a global sport is a “major strategic priority” for the league and its 32 teams. As part of the updated resolution, no club would be required to play more than one regular-season game outside of North America in the same season unless they specifically choose to.

Super Bowl returns to SoFi Stadium

Meanwhile, the NFL has announced that SoFi Stadium will host the Super Bowl again in 2027, just five years after it staged the event for the first time in 2022.

It will be the ninth Super Bowl played in Los Angeles County. According to an independent study, last year’s Super Bowl generated between $234.3m (£185m/€215m) and $477.5m for Los Angeles County.

As part of the Super Bowl activities, the greater Los Angeles region will host a slate of events that make up the week, including NFL Honors, Super Bowl Experience, Super Bowl Opening Night and a robust community programme.

As hosts of the Super Bowl, the Rams will be able to offer their suite owners and stadium suite licence holders priority access to packages and other experiences throughout the week.

Goodell said: “We are very excited to bring the Super Bowl back to Los Angeles for the second time in five years. The city did an outstanding job hosting Super Bowl 56 in the incredible SoFi Stadium and we believe that Super Bowl 61 will be even more memorable. 

“The Los Angeles Rams, the Los Angeles Host Committee and many other outstanding partners will help create an unforgettable week of events culminating in Super Bowl Sunday in 2027 that will celebrate the region as an epicentre of sports, entertainment and culture.”

The 2023 Super Bowl took place at the Arizona Cardinals’ State Farm Stadium. The 2024, 2025 and 2026 events will be held at the Las Vegas Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium, the New Orleans Saints’ Caesars Superdome, and the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium, respectively, before SoFi Stadium hosts in 2027.