Even before Raiders beat the Texans 27-20 on their Monday match at Azteca stadium in Mexico, hopes were already high that NFL could be returning to Mexico. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was very optimistic about this and confirmed just before kickoff that Mexico will be part of the NFL calendar in the near future. After the match, which was by all means an incredible success, it became clear NFL may begin holding annual events in Mexico just like it is done in the UK. As a matter of fact, NFL’s Vice President Mark Waller of international affirmed that the goal is to make Mexico City the next London by creating a game every year. According to Mark, the city of Mexico is home to millions of passionate NFL fans who are eager for the games. Their numbers and passion could rival any city in the US. NFL picks are strongly influenced by such possibilities.
Meanwhile, Goodell was quite happy with the success that was witnessed in the Raiders-Texans match. As he stated, the fans’ interest was obvious and explosive. This means they must strive to feed it and give them more by organizing NFL games in the region. He was reported saying “this (returning NFL back to Mexico) is a priority for us.”
Patriots to Play in 2017
NFL is yet to release any official communication about who will play if the games are taken back to Mexico next year. However, commissioner Goodell offered a clue when he hinted to a fan at the match. The fan was wearing a Tom Brady jersey and Goodell approached him to ask how he would feel if Brady played in the next match, and then added it would “probably” happen in 2017. To fans of the NFL, this does not come as a huge surprise; even though the Patriots are scheduled to play in Oakland in 2017, the match could easily be moved to Mexico City. Raiders’ team owner Mark Davis has proven he is always willing to relocate some of their home matches particularly because of their tenuous Oakland stadium.
More International Matches to Be Seen in the Future
According to Mark Weller, NFL fans should expect more international games scheduled in the future calendars. The leagues vision over the next decade includes placing more games in new international cities. In his comments, he pointed out Canada, other Mexican cities and Germany as some of the international cities NFL could spread out over the coming years. What’s more, the NFL schedule makes it effortless to put games in foreign lands and entertain fans of the game in those cities. When concluding, Weller added that playing in several different cities in a season gave NFL a sense of being part of a global community and feels inclusive.
While no one knows what city NFL picks for future international games, Mexico, Canada, Germany and London are among the top options. They all have best-standard stadiums and passionate die-hard NFL fans. London is already part of the NFL annual calendar and if there is another game in Mexico in 2017, then we can believe everything said by the top commissioners and leaders of NFL, which will be great for the sport.