5 Countries To Watch as NFL Considers More International Games

Where will the NFL expand next? With rumors that the league could soon play in Australia, here are five more countries the NFL could consider.

The NFL has already expanded to multiple countries via its International Series program. In 2024, there will be five NFL international games, including three in London, one in Germany, and another in Brazil.

The NFL is planning a 2025 regular season game in Madrid, Spain. On Tuesday, the league confirmed Australia is on their radar, while the Los Angeles Rams are reportedly being eyed as a potential host team for a game in Melbourne.

What other countries could the NFL consider as it considers further globalization? Here are the top countries the league might think about next.

Which Country Could the NFL Play in Next?

In 2022, the NFL launched its Global Markets Program, designed to “build brand awareness and fandom beyond the US through fan engagement, events, and commercial opportunities.”

Twenty-five NFL clubs are now associated with 19 international markets (some teams are involved in more than one market). Could those relationships help determine which country the league plays in next?

France

NFL market rights: New Orleans Saints

With England, Germany, and Spain already on the docket, France is the next natural country for the NFL to consider.

In 2022, before the league had formally committed to playing in Madrid in 2025, Brett Gosper, the NFL’s head of UK and Europe, said Spain and France were “very much on [the NFL’s] radar.”

“We need to do our homework to make sure that there is the possibility of a place to land any games in those markets, gauge interest of the host stadia, gauge interest of the host city, even the government, as to their enthusiasm to help us bring a game,” Gosper said.

Given the French influence in New Orleans, the Saints were given market rights in France — and a regular-season game could be right around the corner.

Japan

NFL market rights: Los Angeles Rams

The NFL played 14 preseason games in Japan (13 in Tokyo, one in Osaka) between 1979 and 2005, but the league hasn’t returned in nearly two decades. From 1977 to 1993, a collegiate regular season game was also hosted in Japan.

Today, Japan has two college football leagues, and an amateur organization called the X-League. There’s probably enough interest to warrant an NFL game.

The Rams have international market rights in Japan. However, if Los Angeles plays in a game in Australia, the NFL might choose another club to host in Japan.

MORE: Football Down Under? NFL Reportedly Eyeing Australia

Switzerland

NFL market rights: Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

While the NFL held an exhibition game in Sweden in 1986, the league has never moved south into Switzerland. There’s at least some enthusiasm for American football in Switzerland, where the Nationalliga A — the country’s highest level of football — has been around since 1982.

With five teams, including the reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs, involved in Switzerland’s market rights program, the NFL would have plenty of clubs and stars to choose from.

Austria

NFL market rights: Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Like Switzerland, Austria has its own brand of American football — the Austrian Football League, founded in 1982. Two high-profile teams, the Tyrol Raiders and Vienna Vikings, dominated the league for most of the past decade before departing for the European League of Football in 2022.

Colts starting left tackle Bernhard Raimann hails from Vienna, Austria. That connection alone might be enough for Indy to land a hypothetical International Game in Austria.

Argentina

NFL market rights: Miami Dolphins

The Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers will play in the NFL’s first-ever South American game in Week 1 of the 2024 campaign. Could the NFL venture back into South America and consider Argentina?

KEEP READING: Ranking the NFL’s 2024 International Games

Buenos Aires is the 13th-largest city in the world and could host an NFL game in the 86,000-seat Estadio Monumental, the home of Club Atlético River Plate.

The Dolphins hold international rights in Argentina and would presumably be the league’s first choice to travel.

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