NFL expands commitment to international games, may play outside UK

Wed Oct 7, 2015 12:42pm EDT
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By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) - NFL owners voted on Wednesday to extend the league's commitment to play international regular-season games through 2025, including the option to play outside of the United Kingdom beginning next season.

The resolution, ratified during a one-day owners' meeting in New York, broadens a 2011 agreement that permitted the NFL to schedule games at London's Wembley Stadium through 2016.

"This marks an important step in our long-term international growth," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "Fans in the UK have responded incredibly well to the regular-season games we have played in London since 2007.

"They have demanded more NFL games and we have worked to accommodate them."

The 2016 schedule of international regular-season games will be announced later this fall, the NFL said, with other countries in addition to the UK in contention to host the games.

Mexico and Germany are widely seen as the leading contenders.

"We think it’s time to expand our international series to other countries and respond to the growing interest in our game not only in the UK but elsewhere around the world," Goodell said.

Three NFL games will be played this season at Wembley Stadium in London.   Continued...

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell exits the Manhattan Federal Courthouse in New York, August 31, 2015.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid - RTX1QGPD