NFL carving a niche in foreign shores



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NFL announces teams for 2023 international games Image: NFL (Twitter)

The National Football League (NFL) (US) announced on January 19th the five teams set to play in the 2023 International Games. The Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, and New England Patriots will each play international games during the 2023 regular season.

‘NFL’ stated that London’s (UK) 62,850-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – the only purpose-built NFL stadium outside of the United States – will once again host two international games, with the Bills and Titans heading to the capital. The Jaguars will return to their home away from home, the 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium in Wembley, England, as part of their multiyear commitment to playing in the United Kingdom.

New York (US)-based the National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league that consists of 32 teams, divided equally between the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference.

‘NFL’ further stated that the 2023 season will also see the Chiefs and Patriots both play regular season games in Germany, with destination Cities to be announced later this year. The NFL previously confirmed that Munich and Frankfurt will stage games in Germany over the next four years. The Chiefs and Patriots are part of the NFL’s International Home Marketing Area (IHMA) program, which sees teams’ secure international marketing rights in countries beyond the United States, with both sides having been awarded rights in Germany.

Launched in January 2022, the International Home Marketing Area (IHMA) initiative grants the NFL clubs access to international territories for marketing, fan engagement and commercialization as part of a long-term, strategic effort to enable clubs to build their global brands while driving NFL fan growth internationally.

Details of the dates, matchups and kickoff times will be confirmed later in the year when the full 2023 schedule is announced. Fans can register their interest in purchasing tickets by visiting here.

This will be the second trip to London for both Buffalo and Tennessee, with the Bills having played there in 2015 and the Titans in 2018. The Jacksonville Jaguars, also an NFL IHMA side with marketing rights in the United Kingdom, will play their landmark 10th game in London this year. The Chiefs and the Patriots will make their debuts in Germany, following the inaugural international game there in Munich in 2022.

The 2022 International Games saw record-breaking attendances and viewership as ticket demand and fandom continue to grow for the League across the world.

Put in Peter O’Reilly, NFL Executive Vice-President, Club Business, Major Events & International, “Growing the league and our sport internationally is a major strategic priority for the NFL, and we are excited to again be playing five games outside of the United States in 2023. We know how important live regular season games are to our passionate global fans and we thank our clubs for their strong, long-term commitment to this important initiative. Interest in our game globally is at an all-time high, and we look forward to returning to the United Kingdom and Germany in 2023 with some of the most iconic clubs and stars in the NFL.”

There will be no international game in Mexico in 2023 due to renovation work taking place at the 87,523-capacity Aztec Stadium in Mexico City, Mexico.

Added O’Reilly, “Mexico plays a critical role in the NFL’s international growth strategy, with its passionate and growing fan base. We remain committed to year-round engagement with our amazing Mexican fans and look forward to future games in Mexico.”

Remarked Ron Raccuia, Buffalo Bills Executive Vice-President (EVP)/Chief Operating Officer (COO), “We are proud to be selected to participate in our league’s international games in 2023 and continue to help grow our sport globally. The NFL has done an incredible job with this initiative. We’re excited for Bills Mafia (Buffalo Bills fans) to experience the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, one of the primary design inspirations for our new stadium scheduled to open in 2026.”

Observed Burke Nihill, Titans President and head honcho, “It’s an honor to be one of the teams representing the NFL abroad in 2023 and play a role in continuing the incredible growth our sport has seen in the United Kingdom. The atmosphere in London leading up to and at our game in 2018 was absolutely electric. Since then, we’ve remained in touch with our UK-based Titans fans and they’ve grown into one of our most enthusiastic fan bases. We can’t wait to see them again this upcoming season at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and know many of our fans here in Tennessee will be excited to make the trip as well.”

Commented Clark Hunt, Chiefs Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), “We could not be more excited to participate in a Germany game and introduce more of the world to the Chiefs Kingdom this Fall. Our team and our fans have had incredible experiences in London and Mexico City as part of the International Series in the past, and we look forward to helping the NFL in its effort to continue growing the game in Germany.”

Enthused Robert Kraft, Patriots Chairman and CEO, “We are thrilled to be selected to play in Germany this year. We are undefeated in our three previous international games, thanks in part to the outstanding support from our fans. We know that some of our most passionate fans reside in Germany, and we look forward to finally playing a game there. We know the fans will create an amazing atmosphere. We are sure it will be a memorable experience and one of the highlights of the 2023 season.”

Maintained Mark Lamping, Jacksonville Jaguars President, “The Jaguars and Wembley Stadium made International Games history in the capital in 2022, boasting the highest attendance of any NFL game in London ever and we are committed to Wembley for at least two more annual home games, with the aim of making each one bigger and better than the last. Our commitment to London and the United Kingdom goes much deeper than just one home game each year, however. We have a loyal and continually growing fan base which we very much appreciate, our JagTag program reaches almost 90,000 young people spanning the breadth of the country, and the Union Jax Foundation ensures we are able to provide support to a cross-section of the society’s vulnerable young people. The Jaguars plan to always be part of the NFL landscape in London and we are all looking forward to being back in 2023.”

The JagTag is a simplified version of touch American football invented by the Jacksonville Jaguars and sweeping across schools in the United Kingdom.

With the expansion of the NFL schedule in 2021, up to four of the teams from the conference whose teams are eligible for a ninth regular-season home games are now designated to play a neutral-site international game each year.

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