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Report: NFL Considering Regular Season Game in Australia

Highlights

  • The NFL is considering hosting a regular-season game in Australia.
  • If the country is picked, it’ll be one of up to potentially nine international games in 2025 or 2026.
  • This reflects the NFL’s desire to become a more global sport.


The NFL is considering Australia as a potential host for future regular-season games, for either the 2025 or the 2026 season.

The NFL’s head of international affairs, Peter O’Reilly, told the Associated Press on Tuesday: “Australia is among a set, and it’s not a small set of markets, that we’re looking at.”

The NFL has previously only held games in Europe and Mexico before, although it is holding its first ever game in South America in September, when the Green Bay Packers play the Philadelphia Eagles in São Paulo.

Playing a game in a country as far away as Australia would cause difficulties in terms of scheduling and logistics, something that O’Reilly acknowledges:

When you start to talk about Asia, Pacific and Australia, you talk about distance and logistics and the football component of that. So those factors are real. But our role is to really look at the globe, look at where the fan base is strong and do the diligence, make the evaluations.


There’s a 14-hour time difference between Melbourne, where the NFL is reportedly considering hosting the game, and the east coast of the United States. One potential solution would be to play a game on Monday morning in Australia, which would correspond roughly to when Sunday Night Football usually kicks off in America.

The Eagles and the Los Angeles Rams are the two teams assigned to Australia under the NFL’s International Home Marketing Areas, and it seems likely that one of the two teams will end up playing there if the NFL chooses to play a game there.

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The NFL Is Looking To Play Games in an Increasingly Large Set of Markets

There will be at least eight international games as soon as 2025

NFL International Series
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL owners voted in December to increase the number of yearly international games from five to eight for the 2025 NFL season, although there may be as many as nine, and it reflects an increasing desire for the NFL to expand it’s fanbase outside the United States.


The NFL has expanded its global outreach over the years, steadily adding international games since 2007, when the first regular-season game was played in London. There are now three games a year in London, as well as one in Germany and the recently announced game in Brazil.

NFL’s 2024 International Schedule

Week (Date)

Matchup

Location

Time

Network

Week 1 (September 6)

Packers vs. Eagles

São Paulo, Brazil

8:15 p.m. E.T.

Peacock

Week 5 (October 6)

Jets vs. Vikings

London, England

9:30 a.m. E.T.

NFL Network

Week 6 (October 13)

Jaguars vs. Bears

London, England

9:30 a.m. E.T.

NFL Network

Week 7 (October 20)

Patriots vs. Jaguars

London, England

9:30 a.m. E.T.

NFL Network

Week 10 (November 10)

Giants vs. Panthers

Munich, Germany

9:30 a.m. E.T.

NFL Network

Out of the potential nine games that’ll be hosted abroad in 2025, at least one will be held in the iconic Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, home of Spanish football team Real Madrid.


O’Reilly was keen to mention the NFL was exploring several different markets, and expecting a variety of different countries to host games in the future.

All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference unless stated otherwise.

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