Following the success of the NFL’s International Series in London and Mexico, the league expressed their interest to host more games in Europe. The first talks with three German cities to host regular-season games were taken.
Strong fan base in Germany
The National Football League has recently confirmed that three cities were in discussions to host regular-season games in Germany. Choosing the German market should not come as a surprise as we see that the NFL has enjoyed strong fan growth in that country over the years.
There are figures showing that Germany is among the top three countries in Europe with the most NFL fans outside the United States (source: Global Web Index), estimating the group of supporters at 19 million.
© Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
“We are very excited about the development of our German fan base, and the time is right to identify a partner who can execute a game at NFL standards as part of our international growth strategy,” said Brett Gosper, the NFL’s head of UK and Europe.
Weekly tv audience in Germany (on ProSieben and DAZN) has grown by more than 20% annually since 2017. What is more, German viewership of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl on February 9, 2021 set a record.
“Germany is a leading market outside North America for NFL Shop sales, fantasy football participation and sales of the Madden NFL video game,” confirmed the league in its statement.
© Allianz Arena / B. Ducke
After the first part of the process of selecting partners in Germany, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich have been invited to proceed to the ‘candidate phase’. Those cities will now participate in deeper consultation about staging games in this part of Europe.
“The strong interest we have received from German cities underlines what a fantastic opportunity this is for a host, ranging from the significant economic benefits and global exposure to the chance to become a hub for the growth of the NFL’s fan engagement, community and grassroots activities” - the NFL underlined.
Stadium requirements for organising such a game are very important. The NFL expects strategic cooperation with various stakeholders within the region. Not only stadium operators or clubs will be included in the process of delivering the final show(s).
NFL already playing in UK
The NFL International Series is a special series of American football games during the regular season. These games are played outside of the United States. As of 2017, the series consists of two parts: the NFL London Games (since 2007) and the NFL Mexico Game in Mexico City (launched in 2016).
After a year out due to the pandemic, the NFL returned to Europe with two NFL London Games at Tottenham Hotspur. These matches took place on the last two Sundays. The London-based arena and home of Spurs has been equipped with a special pitch to play NFL matches there.
Designed as a multi-purpose stadium, the facility features the world's first dividing retractable football pitch, revealing a synthetic turf pitch underneath for NFL London Games, concerts and other events.
Author: Karol Tatar