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NFL to play its first ever regular season game in Germany later this year

Related: Patriots take next step towards playing a game in Germany

FC Bayern München v 1. FSV Mainz 05 - Bundesliga Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

Update 2/9/2022: NFL to play its first ever regular season game in Germany later this year

During his annual Super Bowl press conference, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed an earlier report that the league would play its first ever regular season game in Germany later this year. According to Goodell, the NFL will indeed host one contest in Munich at a yet-to-be-announced date.

The city of Frankfurt, some 190 miles north west of Munich, will also host games at one point in the future.

“We are very pleased to welcome Munich and Frankfurt to the NFL family and are excited to reward our fans in Germany for their passion by bringing them the spectacle of regular-season NFL football,” Goodell said in a statement. “We look forward to staging our first game in Germany at FC Bayern Munich’s fantastic stadium later this year and to exploring areas of broader collaboration with the Bundesliga.”

Earlier this year, the NFL handed out global marketing rights to its clubs. Four teams were selected for Germany: the New England Patriots as well as the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Carolina Panthers.

The belief is that one of those four teams will participate in the 2022 regular season season contest played at Munich’s Allianz Arena.

That game will be one of five international games staged by the NFL this upcoming season, including one in Mexico and three in the United Kingdom. According to the league, the home teams for those contests will be announced “in the coming weeks.” Exact dates and matchups will become public as part of the NFL schedule release later this year.

Original story 2/9/2022: Report: NFL to play its first regular season game in Germany this year

After already expanding into the United Kingdom and Mexico, the NFL has decided to move into Germany. The country has been chosen to host one game per regular season, and according to German media will do so as early as this fall.

Per German newspaper Bild, league commissioner Roger Goodell will make an announcement during his annual Super Bowl press conference on Wednesday. While it remains to be seen which teams will actually be the first to venture into the country, the host cities are already set.

Munich’s Allianz Arena will host the NFL International Series in Nov. 2022, with Frankfurt’s Deutsche Bank Park doing the same in 2023. The two cities will continue alternating as the hosts over the coming years.

The New England Patriots are among the favorites to play in Germany this season. The team is the most popular in the country and among four that recently added it to its exclusive marketing area.

The Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers have also added Germany to their marketing areas, making them realistic candidates to play the first ever regular season game on German soil as well. An existing cooperation between Bayern Munich, the soccer team calling Allianz Arena its home, and the Chiefs through FC Dallas — both teams are owned by Clark Hunt — could point towards Kansas City getting the nod.