The National Football League will reportedly go global.
After several years of experimentation, an anonymous owner told Front Office Sports that the league will have an international division.
«We don’t know if it will happen in two years, five years or whenever, but there will be an international split.» said the owner.
The first NFL game held outside of the United States was in 2005, when the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers played in Mexico City, and every team has played internationally since then, with most games played abroad.
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Rumors have circulated for years that a current team could move to England, but it seems the NFL would be inclined to add several expansion teams there.
The NFL hasn’t expanded since 2002 with the Houston Texans, and not by multiple teams in a year since 1995, when the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars emerged.
But the league, which already has 32 teams, seems ready for another set of franchises.
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«I think what we’re focusing on is building capacity, so if there was that opportunity, whether a club wanted to consider relocation or possibly expanding, we’re in that mode,» said Peter O’Reilly, vice president. NFL executive. club, international and league business events. «In London, where we’ve been for a long time, and now in Germany, we’re making sure we have the stadium partners, the government partners and the support of the fans to keep that possibility going.»
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This upcoming season there will be five NFL games in other countries, just like last season: three games were in England, one in Germany and the other in Mexico City. This year, there will be three in the UK and two in Germany.