Football Down Under? NFL’s Next International Stop During the Regular Season Could Be in Australia

As the NFL continues to expand the game around the world, Australia could reportedly be the next site of an international regular-season matchup.

In recent years, the NFL has heavily emphasized expanding its reach around the world. In 2024, there will be five international games on the regular-season schedule, including three in London, one in Germany, and another in Brazil.

While Australia is one of the biggest countries in the world, they’ve yet to host an NFL regular-season game. However, a recent report suggests that this could change in 2025.

Melbourne Attempting To Host First NFL Regular-Season Game in Australia

According to Tom Morris of 9News Melbourne, the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) and the Victorian government are exploring the possibility of hosting an NFL regular-season game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

Morris mentions that the Los Angeles Rams would likely host the event, given their relative proximity and existing fan base in Australia. The Rams are one of two NFL teams to have international marketing rights in Australia, further strengthening their case to host the matchup down under.

NFL executive Peter O’Reilly confirmed Tuesday that the NFL is considering Australia for an international game.

If the NFL agrees to play a game in Melbourne, it would be the league’s first trip to Australia in over two decades. On Aug. 7, 1999, the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers played a preseason game at Stadium Australia. It was quite a spectacle, with 73,811 fans in attendance.

Yet, given the presence of Australian players in the NFL today, a matchup down under in 2025 would likely draw an even bigger audience. It’s clear that the NFL is looking to expand the league’s reach around the world, and its efforts in Australia are especially notable.

NFL Embracing Australian Players, Expanding Efforts Down Under

The NFL is making an effort to embrace the talent coming from down under. This was evident when the league announced the opening of an NFL Academy in Australia, set for September 2024.

Philadelphia Eagles starting left tackle Jordan Mailata could be Australia’s biggest success story in the NFL. Mailata was selected by the Eagles in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft, despite never playing a single snap of American football.

Yet, under the tutelage of Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, Mailata has grown into one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL. In 2024, he will be joined by another Australian native, as Philadelphia signed Laekin Vakalahi this offseason.

MORE: 2024 NFL Season and Playoff Predictor

The creation of the NFL’s International Pathway Program in 2017 has given opportunities to previously unavailable players such as Mailata and Vakalahi. Mailata continues to be an ambassador for the league in Australia, as he announced Philadelphia’s first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft live from the Gold Coast.

The Eagles are the second team, besides the Rams, to have international marketing rights in Australia. Given the ties that both teams now have down under, a matchup between the Rams and Eagles at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2025 would certainly be enticing.

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