As the NFL continues to expand the game globally, the league is exploring avenues to host more games in Mexico after the successful game they had there in 2005.
For the last several years, the NFL has been trying to make a foothold in the United Kingdom as they aim to expand their game globally. With the league continuing to play multiple games in the England each season, growth and fandom continue to rise internationally.
While the global integration of the NFL brand is taking place in Europe, could the league return to a familiar country, where they had large amounts of success playing a game? After a report came out stating that the NFL has approved a project to return to Mexico, the site of a 2005 game between the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers which drew over 100,000 fans, the league has responded in a statement to NFL.com about their explorations into Mexico.
"“We are pleased with the growth in fan demand and the increased partner support we have enjoyed in recent years. With this in mind, we are actively assessing the opportunity to play games in Mexico. We have visited several stadiums in recent months, and are analyzing what needs to be done to bring games to Mexico. It is premature to comment specifically as to when this will happen, let alone how many, if any, games might be played.”"
If the league wants to continue to integrate their growing product, establishing itself in Mexico is a tremendous idea. The fans in Mexico came out in droves to watch the first game there in 2005, and were crazy at the time about two teams in the NFC West that weren’t doing well at the time.
That alone should be an indicator of just how popular the sport can really be. While the league wants to expand overseas, perhaps expanding across the same continent first could prove to be a more beneficial strategy. In fact, it begs the question of why they haven’t returned to Mexico sooner.
The original report from the Spanish outlet AS, listed the league as returning in 2017. While the NFL has come out and said that report is premature, and there is no definitive date, it is very apparent in their statement that they plan on returning to the country soon, and are taking the necessary steps to making it happen.
If it does, hopefully this time 100,000 screaming fans can get a better game to go crazy over.
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