With three regular season games played in London last season, it’s fairly obvious that the NFL intends to expand their product to worldwide proportions.
During the owners’ meetings this week in Arizona, league officials provided more details into their plans. Canada, Mexico, and China are being discussed as the next frontiers for football action.
“The work we’re doing now is to ask, ‘How do we accelerate the agenda in Mexico, Canada and China?'” said Mark Waller, NFL EVP, International. “Those would be our next stage, and we have offices in those three countries. And then, after those, where should be our focus? I think we’ve concluded that Brazil and Germany are the next two frontier markets, which is where the Pro Bowl idea comes from.”
The league is tossing around the idea of moving the Pro Bowl to Brazil as early as 2017 to promote the game among the world’s fifth-largest populace.
The NFL has also sent representatives to Mexico City and Germany with the intention of examining the facilities and exploring the television rights the league will have to distribute their product. Frankfurt and Dusseldorf lead the discussion as the most likely sites to join the International Series while Berlin and Munich will also draw consideration. Germany was home to five of the six now-defunct NFL Europe teams.
The NFL also continues to work toward placing a permanent team in London with the 2022 set as the goal.
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