Home » NFL Announces First-ever Regular Season Game to Be Played in South America
News South America Sports

NFL Announces First-ever Regular Season Game to Be Played in South America

The NFL will play a regular season game in Brazil in 2024, the first in South America in the latest expansion of the league’s rapidly growing international plan.

The league said Wednesday at the owners meetings in Dallas that the game will be played at Arena Corinthians in São Paulo, Brazil. The stadium has a capacity of nearly 50,000 and was a venue for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

The NFL played its first two regular season games in Frankfurt, Germany, this year, with three more in London. There are five planned for 2024 as well, three in London to go with the games in Germany and Brazil.

“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,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

No teams have yet been announced for the inaugural game in Brazil. At the December owners meetings two years ago, the league designated home marketing rights for teams in various countries as part of a strategy to build fan growth internationally. The Miami Dolphins are the only team with such rights in Brazil.

Goodell said in October that the NFL could add another international location “as early as next year.” The league office sent officials on scouting missions to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Madrid earlier this year to scout possible locations to host regular season games.

“There’s a lot of interest in the NFL,” NFL executive vice-president Peter O’Reilly told ESPN in October. “I mean, we saw it. We did a Super Bowl viewing party last year down in Brazil, and it was packed, and the energy is there.”

Two venues are reportedly under consideration to host games in Spain: Atlético Madrid’s Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano and Real Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Atlético’s stadium has a capacity of 70,460 and features natural grass, whereas the Bernabéu has a capacity of 83,168 and features hybrid grass and a retractable field, similar to Tottenham Hotspur stadium, which was earlier this year given the official designation as the ‘Home of the NFL’ in the UK.

The Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins hold the home marketing rights in Spain.

The NFL has also discussed hosting a Super Bowl internationally. “It is not impossible, and it is something that has been discussed before,” Goodell said in London during this season’s International Series.

Source: The Guardian