The Super Bowl is just one day away, but the NFL is already looking ahead to next season. Well, the next two seasons, actually.
More specifically, the league is focused on expanding its global reach. Roger Goodell, speaking at a Super Bowl news conference on Wednesday, announced that the NFL will once again play regular season games at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca in 2020 and 2021.
“We look forward to being back and we are proud to be able to say we’re going to be there for two more games over the next two years,” the commissioner said. “Our fan base down there continues to grow and become more passionate. Our partners down there have been extraordinary and we want to continue that. We want to build on that.”
The NFL played its first game in Mexico City in 2016. An encore took place the following year, but poor field conditions at Estadio Azteca forced the Chiefs and Rams to relocate to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2018. After a one-year hiatus, football returned to Mexico City in 2019 when the Chiefs beat the Chargers, 24-17.
Prior to the 2019 game, the league pushed for the installation of a new drainage and irrigation system at Estadio Azteca. The stadium also did not host any concerts or soccer matches in the weeks leading up to the contest. Still, divots in the turf had to be replaced at halftime. “Maybe it was a little bit slick, but we play in snow; we play in rain; we play in different conditions,” Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu said at the time.
No time nor date has been determined for the 2020 game. That, along with the NFL’s other international games, will be announced when the league releases its schedule in the spring.
The 2020 and 2021 games in Mexico will be the fifth and sixth such games in NFL history.
The Mazatlan Post