An anonymous NFL owner told Front Office Sports that the league is looking to add an international division in the near future.
The NFL has expanded the number of international games they play on a yearly basis. This past season alone, the NFL held three games in London (New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos vs. Jacksonville Jaguars), one game in Mexico (San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals), and a game in Germany (Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Seattle Seahawks). As it turns out, the NFL has more plans to expand into the international market.
An anonymous NFL owner told Front Office Sports that the league is planning to expand with international teams, looking to eventually create an international division.
“We don’t know if it’s going to happen in two years, five years, or whenever, but there’s going to be an international division,” the owner said.
NFL reportedly open to expanding to create an international division
That is certainly a lofty goal for the league, but it will be interesting to see if it actually comes to fruition in the near or distant future.
NFL executive vice president of club business, international and league events Peter O’Reilly brought up the increase in international games in hopes of either expanding or relocating teams.
“I think what we are focused on is building capacity so if there were that opportunity — whether a club wanted to consider relocation or potentially looking at expansion — we are in that mode,” said O’Reilly, h/t Front Office Sports. ”In London, where we’ve been for a long time, and now in Germany, we’re making sure we’ve got the stadium partners, the governmental partners, and the fan support to sustain that possibility.”
For the 2023 season, there will be three games held in London and two in Germany, but the exact matchups aren’t known. What is known is that the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans will host a game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Jaguars will host at Wembley Stadium, while the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs host games in Frankfurt, Germany.
O’Reilly said this past week that the matchups for all international games in 2023 will be announced around the same time that the full NFL schedules are revealed in May.
Will we get an expanded NFL that includes an international division?