The NFL American football league is “absolutely” on track to introduce a full-time team in London by 2022 while plans are progressing to stage regular-season games in Germany, according to Mark Waller, the league’s executive vice-president of international operations.
Waller, speaking after the league’s annual meeting in Phoenix, told the NFL website that London would have held four games rather than three this year in the International Series if the 2015 Rugby World Cup had not already been scheduled to take place in England.
He added that the International Series is likely to be expanded in 2017, with Germany and Mexico being the focus of the efforts. In Germany, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf are the most likely candidates, although Berlin and Munich are also under consideration. In Mexico, the first step will be attempting to bring pre-season games to the capital, Mexico City, in the short term, and possibly holding a training camp in the country.
The league has already announced that it is considering moving the February 2017 Pro Bowl to Brazil, while the NFL is focusing on digital media-rights distribution in China.
Waller said: “The work we're doing now is to ask, 'How do we accelerate the agenda in Mexico, Canada and China?' Those would be our next stage, and we have offices in those three countries. And then, after those, where should be our focus? I think we've concluded that Brazil and Germany are the next two frontier markets, which is where the Pro Bowl idea comes from.”