After staging 29 games in London, the NFL is now convinced that regular-season games being played in Europe is a decent business model. The league has already started looking at other European cities and is focusing its attention on Frankfurt, Munich, and Dusseldorf in Germany.
Fantastic Opportunity for Host Cities
The NFL confirmed that it was seriously considering expanding the International Series to Germany, and has already started discussions to find the best partner city for its overseas endeavor.
The decision to proceed with the three German cities to what the NFL calls the “candidate phase” was made after the league received interest from many European cities. The three cities will now engage in deeper discussions about how they plan to host these “international” NFL games.
Brett Gosper, NFL Head of Europe and the UK, said that playing regular-season games in Germany would create more excitement for the sport in the country and would help fans connect with the NFL better.
He added that the strong interest German cities expressed was evidence of the “fantastic opportunity” host cities get. NFL’s head of European affairs said that the benefits ranged from “significant economic” perks to massive global exposure and a chance to help the NFL with fan engagement and grassroots football.
How the NFL will pick its German partner?
Gosper also identified the criteria the NFL would use when choosing their German partner city. He said that they wanted a stadium that was “fully capable” to handle NFL games and the logistics that come with them.
He also outlined that the host consortium they would partner with would have to include both local and regional government members, as well as local stakeholders, commercial partners, and stadium ownership figures.
Germany has been an important NFL hub in Europe and it is estimated that there are over 19 million NFL fans in the country. ProSieben and DAZN broadcast regular-season and playoff games, and they have reported a 20 percent increase in viewership figures every year since 2017.
That trend is evident in Super Bowl games too. In February, more German NFL fans watched Super Bowl LV than the year before. That was the third consecutive season in which Germany had record Super Bowl viewership figures.
Germany is also one of the strongest-performing NFL markets outside North America when it comes to NFL merchandise sales, as well as fantasy football engagement and sales of EA Sports’ Madden NFL game.
German-Born Players Plying Their Trade in the NFL
Players born in Germany have been making a stronger impact in the NFL too recently. Jakob Johnson, a fullback born in Stuttgart, has become a New England Patriots regular starter this season.
The two other German players in the NFL right now, David Bada and Aaron Donkor who play for the Washington Football Team and the Seattle Seahawks respectively, are also doing their best to make an impact. Together with Jakob Johnson, they are trying to follow in the footsteps of more illustrious countrymen that have played in the NFL recently.
Sebastian Vollmer won two Super Bowls while playing alongside Tom Brady for the New England Patriots. Bjorn Werner is another German player NFL fans will remember. The Indianapolis Colts defensive end was drafted in the 2013 NFL Draft as a first-round pick.