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American Football Goes Global

by Angelique Platas

Nov 9, 2019

Slawek Kozakiewicz | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / Europe

Football families know, the first signs of fall usually come in the form of a Sunday ESPN lineup, tailgating NFL games and breaking out the cold-weather gear to rep your team in chilly conditions. If your family already needs a break from the cold, or just a break in general, but wants to keep tabs on your team, you’re in luck — the NFL is going south of the border and across the pond.


Whether seeking a family football vacation or just time away with a healthy dose of your favorite sport, it’s a great excuse to travel. This year marks the fourth consecutive season the American league heads to Mexico City at Estadio Azteca, and more than a decade of games in the United Kingdom.


The NFL international games have been a favorite pastime for fans for years, including the inaugural game of the NFL International Series in 2007, seeing the New York Giants face off against the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium in London. The Giants took home the W and the International Series continued each year through 2012, finally expanding to two games in 2013. The fans wanted more and the NFL delivered.


NFL Fans in London. Photo: Fernando Carniel Machado | Dreamstime.com


With record-breaking attendance for the NFL’s U.K games, the league bumped the games up to three in 2014 and 2015 in London before expanding to other countries for diverse venues. Adding Mexico games to the roster led to a rebranding: NFL London Games and NFL Mexico Game. This year, four games are scheduled in London and a single game will be played in Mexico.


While known as American football worldwide, these international games open National Football League up to some global attention. Your family’s team may already have a few foreign-born players hitting the field, further melding the sport on the worldwide stage.


With the NFL’s commitment to international regular season games, new fans can watch together, travel to new locales for their team and enjoy a more diverse game with more venue options than ever. The NFL is even considering expanding the international league schedule to Germany or Canada. Check out the international schedule here and see if your teams are playing in a destination-worthy locale on your family’s travel list.


There’s no better excuse for getting the family together to travel somewhere new — or warm — than capitalizing on their love for football. It’s a win-win.


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