Why Does the NFL Play in Germany?

The NFL returns to Germany for the first time since 2007. Let's examine why the league will head there and who plays in the NFL Munich game.

The 2022 NFL season marks a shift in the league’s approach to international football since shutting down NFL Europe. After trips to London, England, and Mexico City became more frequent, the NFL added a new stop this season. The first NFL Munich game takes place in Week 10 of the season. Why? And who is playing in Germany for the first time since shutting down NFL Europe in 2007?

Why Is the NFL Playing Games in Munich, Germany?

While NFL franchises playing in Germany might seem strange, the numbers beg to differ. According to a survey in 2021, American football was the second-most popular sport in Germany, with one in three people having contact with a game in the past year.

These numbers are backed even further by the spectacle of football in Germany during NFL Europe. During the 1990s and early 2000s, Germany was one of the few European countries consistently selling tickets for NFL football games.

Five different clubs popped up around Germany between 1995 and 2007. The games would routinely pull close to 30,000 spectators, and around 500,000 German residents currently watch the country’s Sunday NFL doubleheader on the free-to-watch station ProSieben.

While many in America would assume London to be the hub of NFL fandom across the pond, Germany has been the center of American football culture for quite some time. Allianz Arena will be the site for the contest in 2022. While the arena only seats around 75,000 people, the NFL received three million ticket requests. Germany is ready for the return of NFL football!

A New Format for the 2022 International Series

2022 introduces a new format for the NFL’s regular-season International Series. This season features 10 teams heading to three different countries.

Along with the NFL’s usual stop in London, the league will return to Mexico City for the first time since 2019 and play its first game in Munich, Germany.

MORE: 2022 NFL Schedule

These moves track with the NFL’s changes regarding the International Series. Each year, there will be a minimum of four international games held. Each of the 32 teams will host at least one game over an eight-year cycle.

In anticipation of the NFL’s International Series expansion outside of just London, the NFL announced International Home Marketing Areas for 18 teams across eight countries. You can find which teams are building their global brands here.

2022 NFL International Series Results and Remaining Schedule

  • Vikings vs. Saints
    Result: Vikings 28, Saints 25
  • Giants vs. Packers
    Result: Giants 27, Packers 22
  • Broncos vs. Jaguars
    Result: Broncos 21, Jaguars 17
  • Seahawks vs. Buccaneers
    Week 10 (Nov. 13)
  • 49ers vs. Cardinals
    Week 11 (Nov. 21)

What Teams Play in the NFL Munich Game This Week?

So, who will play in the NFL’s first regular-season Germany game? The Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made the trip to Munich for Sunday’s 9:30 a.m ET kickoff. The NFL sends one of the most famous players in history as QB Tom Brady attempts to turn the Buccaneers’ rough season around against a surprisingly good Seahawks squad.

The selection of Seattle and Tampa Bay for the NFL’s first regular-season game in Germany made sense — both franchises were granted access to the country’s international home marketing areas. They are joined by the Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs as the NFL’s home franchises in Germany.

With Week 10 marking the first game of a four-year plan for German football, who knows what the future holds? However, given the sport’s current popularity, expect Germans to embrace the NFL with open arms and be ready for stories about the first Power Party since 2007.

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