The two countries closest in the race to host the next NFL game are Spain and Brazil. Adam Schefter confirmed the news following his recent meeting with Peter O’Reilly, the league’s executive vice president in his podcast.
NFL targets Bernabeu as the next expansion destination
Following Germany and the United Kingdom, countries where the NFL has already established themselves in expansion terms and where five games will be hosted this season, Spain and Brazil are in the line.
Schefter said that right now, the NFL prioritizes expansion and continues to make progress on that front.
O’Reilly stated that the league had sent many officials to Madrid, including Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo along with the Metropolitano, but specifically the special Barnebeu, being the possible venue NFL is considering for the possible hosts.
Notably, the NFL awarded marketing rights to the 32 teams in 14 countries on five continents. The Miami Dolphins and the Chicago Bears were the ones to be assigned to Spain among them.
This might be a big hint as to which franchise might have the first game in Spain in NFL history.
Brerr Gosper, NFL Head of Europe and UK, told in an interview,
“We’re certainly looking at the viability of places such as Spain and France in Europe. That’s why we’re always firsthand looking at stadia and cities if they align with our strategic objectives in those markets.”.
Talking about a next city for next season, Gosper said,
“We don’t have enough information to say that with full confidence yet. We’re examining that possibility with years beyond that.”
Talking about Paris Olympics to be hosted in France, he said,
“If you’re talking France, you’ve got the Olympics, you’ve got a little bit of uncertainty around licensing and leasing of the Stade de France, which would be the key stadium in France.
So probably Spain has the edge in terms of the practicalities that we’re looking at currently.”
The historic stadium
Real Madrid’s historic Santiago Bernabeu stadium has almost wrapped up the major innovations that include a soccer pitch, making way for an artificial turf field where American football could be played. The whopping capacity stands at 80,000.
There are other options too such as Barcelona’s Camp Nou. However, it’s ongoing renovations at the moment. One of the reasons why the NFL added a 17th game to the schedule was the international expansions.
The first game was hosted in London in 2007. Last year, it was Munich to host the first-ever NFL regular season game in Germany. Frankfurt will host two games later in this season.