Tuesday, June 25, 2024

NFL targeting a game in Madrid in 2024

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The NFL is expanding its international reach and is planning to play a regular season game in Spain.

Two sources with knowledge of the plans have said that a game in Madrid is all but locked in for 2024. This will expand upon the current slate of international games, with three in London and two in Frankfurt this year. Germany will host games in Munich, as it did last season, in addition to Frankfurt. Games in Mexico City have been put on hold while Estadio Azteca is renovated for the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

There are no indications that the London or Frankfurt/Munich games will be scaled back. One of the London games is managed separately from the league by the Jaguars.

Two venues are under consideration: Estadio Metropolitano, home stadium of Atlético Madrid, with a capacity of 70,460 and a natural grass field; and Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, home of Real Madrid, with a capacity of 83,168 and a hybrid grass field reinforced with synthetic fibers. The latter has a new feature (see the video below) that allows sections of the field to retract below pitch level for maintenance and improved growth environment. Sources have said that the NFL UK offices have been actively scouting the sites in Madrid before a final decision.

The European League of Football — the unofficial successor to the NFL Europe league that disbanded in 2007 — announced earlier this year that Madrid will have an expansion team in the league in 2024.

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