NFL’s International Games: A Cross-country Experience for Players and Fans

The idea of a Super Bowl held in London is making the rounds.

Football is an American term that is different from the globally adopted use of the term. What Europeans and other non-Americans refer to as football is soccer in the USA. Meanwhile, football is a major sport among Americans.

Over the years, the NFL has successfully led the transformation of this event from being a domestic league to one now followed by emerging international fans. This has generated more attention to the NFL odds and its potential for online bettors. A major landmark towards the achievement of its promotion is the exploration of cities across the world to boost the NFL’s visibility. Noticeably, the NFL has explored different cities ranging from London to Toronto. 

Historical perspective on NFL’s international games

In November 1926, the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Wildcats played a match at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Stadium. This match between these competitive teams marked the beginning of American football’s international match just as we know it today. About 80 years after this memorable game, Estadio Azteca in Mexico became the host of the NFL international game. This was in October 2005 with the Arizona Cardinals showing their claws and stripping San Francisco 49ers the chance of victory. 

These years laid a significant foundation for the building of an international NFL culture that grants non-Americans access to the entertaining capacity of this sport. In 2007 when the NFL established the International Series, the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins were selected for a tough battle for victory in one of London’s most popular stadiums. For the first time, the NFL was bringing a different form of football to the British. The reception of this synonymous game was so massive that the first return to overseas matches happened in London in 2021.

We can highlight several facts about NFL international engagement. However, none comes close to the commitment of the teams and different stakeholders that have facilitated smooth mobility across countries. For instance, the NFL has played 45-season games across different countries. Similarly, 51 preseason games have been played across different fields outside of the USA with seven interleague exhibition games that preceded the 21st century. 

Toronto, Tokyo, London, Mexico City, and Berlin are countries that have become regular destinations for NFL games. A minimum of four teams are now scheduled to play a match outside the American territory.

Significance of NFL’s International Games

American football seeks to show the country’s commitment to the principle of all-inclusiveness and equality. Hence, the cross-border ambition has led to the following:

● Career opportunity as an NFL player: Being a sport prominent in America means that its international appeal also ignites the desire in foreigners to join the NFL as a player one day. Therefore, the NFL’s international game seeks to equally find out about available talents in the host countries. With the identification of these talents, scouts, and clubs can select individuals they find most appealing and train them towards stardom.

● Visibility of the game: an international game is a game that is broadly adopted in the global sphere. Soccer, basketball, tennis, and many other sports have attained worldwide acclaim. NFL deemed it necessary to break into foreign stadia to boost the visibility of the NFL and consequently make it one that brings entertainment to its fans irrespective of their national background.

● Improve the game quality: boosting the NFL’s visibility can impact the sponsorship of sports from across the world. With this sponsorship, aspiring footballers have a chance to express their talents and even manifest their dreams. By holding these international games, the NFL sends a loud message that has been well-received across the world. This message is clear because it states that the league is open to every talented fellow. 

What fans can expect from the NFL in the future?

In the years to come, London might host the Super Bowl. Now, it is clear that this has remained a speculation. Although speculations are different from reality, what they offer us is a projection of the future and its possibilities.

According to Roger Goodell, it is possible to have a Super Bowl in London. Also, the NFL’s attention has been directed to this possibility. If successful, it would serve as a major boost to the promotion of the NFL and its culture which has been inspired by the American pop culture. 


NFL’s international games across different cities have existed for close to a decade. Similarly, it has gathered momentum to keep touring cities every season to bring entertainment and thrilling sports moments to the fans abroad.

Meanwhile, the idea of a Super Bowl held in London is making rounds in people’s heads. It is still at an unconfirmed stage. However, there are strong reasons like the one given by Roger Goodell to believe that it might not be immediately.

So fans can now enjoy the thrilling moment of supporting their favourite NFL team when the major event of the league is held within their national jurisdiction.