The National Football League is growing rapidly and with new TV deals signed, the game will be growing even more in the next decade. Now, as the league looks to grow its brand globally, the NFL could be targeting regular-season games in Canada and Germany very soon.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL was forced to suspend its international series. It marked the first since 2006 that a regular-season game wasn’t played outside of the United States. With the series returning in 2021, commissioner Roger Goodell and team owners are thinking even bigger beyond the upcoming season.
Rumors of the NFL International Series expanding emerged in March, with talk about a variety of potential locations. While Goodell plans to keep having games played in the UK and in Mexico, there’s a growing desire for the league to broaden its reach across the globe.
Sara Germano of the Financial Times recently reported that Germany and Canada could host NFL games in 2022. The reporting, complemented by insight from the NFL’s executive vice president of strategy and growth Chris Halpin, dives into the league’s plans to grow the game.
Efforts to expand the game’s audience overseas have been very successful. As the NFL increases its efforts to diversify its audience moving forward, another way to increase revenue, specific countries are being targeted first.
Halpin noted that Germany and Canada rank first and second in the overseas market for viewership and fantasy sports activity tied. Notably, per Germano’s reporting, viewership for NFL Game Pass rose 25% this past year.
League officials are already thinking about potential hosting sites in Germany. Olympiastadion Berlin, which has been renovated since it was originally built for the 1936 Summer Olympics, is a possibility. It boasts a seating capacity of nearly 75,000, slightly more than the New Orleans Saints’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome (73,000).
Allianz Arena, located in Munich, would be another potential hosting site for a game in 2022. It opened in 2005 and was one of the venues for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.