American football league the NFL has announced that the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs will take to Mexico City in 2018 for the third consecutive year in which a regular season game has been played in the country.
Following games in 2016 and 2017, the NFL will return to the Estadio Azteca, with the date and time of the game to be determined in conjunction with the release of the NFL schedule this spring. The game in Mexico is the fourth international fixture confirmed for 2018, following the three games that were announced for London, England last month.
In November, the NFL and Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism signed an agreement to play three regular-season games from 2019 to 2021. The previous agreement covered games from 2016 to 2018.
The Rams and Chiefs will both play their first regular-season game in Mexico next season. The Chiefs played a preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys in Monterrey on August 5, 1996, earning a 32-6 win.
The Rams will be the designated home team for the fixture. The Rams have played games in London for the past two years under the NFL’s policy that teams who play in a temporary home compete in one International Series game per year. Following their move from St. Louis, the Rams are due to move into their new stadium in Inglewood, California in 2020.
“Southern California and Mexico share strong historic and cultural ties and this game will provide an opportunity to celebrate the special connection between these two regions,” Rams owner and chairman, Stan Kroenke, said. “It is great to be participating in the NFL’s international games again and working with the league to grow the game abroad. Mexico has one of the largest NFL fan bases in the world and we are excited to bring Rams football to the millions of fans there.”
Kansas City Chiefs chairman and chief executive, Clark Hunt, added: “The support for the NFL in Mexico has grown significantly since our initial trip in 1996. We look forward to returning to Mexico and connecting with a new generation of fans this season.”
The New England Patriots defeated the Oakland Raiders 33-8 in this season’s Mexico City game on November 19.