NFL Seeks Partner City To Host Games In Germany


The National Football League said Wednesday it was looking for a German city to host regular season games, which would be its first in mainland Europe, as the league seeks to ramp up its international appeal.

Key Facts

Germany would become just the fourth country outside the U.S. to host regular season NFL games, along with the U.K., Mexico and Canada.

Games could reportedly start in 2022, and Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer said they could be during Oktoberfest.

The NFL says interest in American football is on the rise in Germany, with regular season viewership up more than 20% since 2017 and Super Bowl viewership setting a new record each of the past three seasons.

Crucial Quote

“We are very excited about the development of our German fan base, and the time is right to identify a partner who can execute a game at NFL standards as part of our international growth strategy,” said Brett Gosper, the head of the NFL’s U.K. and European operations.

What To Watch For

Over the next eight years, each NFL team will play at least one game outside of the U.S., as part of an agreement owners reached to expand the regular season schedule to 17 games. Two games are scheduled to be played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London in 2021, after the league canceled its international games last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Key Background

The NFL has long dominated the U.S. sports landscape, and for years the league has pushed for a greater international presence to continue growing its brand. That led to the creation of the NFL International Series in 2007, with one regular season game being held in London from 2007-2012, two in 2013 and at least three in every season since (except 2020). The NFL also expanded its International Series to include games in Mexico City starting in 2016.


From 1991 to 2007, the NFL operated teams in Europe as part of a developmental league. The NFL folded the league with it reportedly running $30 million in annual losses and moved its focus to playing regular season games overseas.

Further Reading

NFL Expanding Regular Season To 17 Games For 2021 Season (Forbes)

NFL 17-game schedule rumors: Germany could be getting a regular-season game as soon as the 2022 season (CBS Sports)

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