LONDON (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play in the NFL’s first regular-season game in Germany this year and the Green Bay Packers are traveling abroad for the first time.
The league said Monday that the Bucs will host the inaugural game in Munich next season, although their opponents and the date for the game have yet to be announced.
“This historic game will play a crucial role in the NFL’s efforts to grow its international footprint while allowing us to directly engage NFL fans in Germany,” Buccaneers owner and co-chairman Joel Glazer said in a statement.
The Packers and the New Orleans Saints are the designated home teams for two games at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, while the Jacksonville Jaguars will host a game at Wembley Stadium. The Jaguars are London regulars, having come every year since 2013 — except in 2020, when the international games were canceled because of the pandemic.
The Arizona Cardinals will play a game at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
The Packers are the only franchise among the NFL’s 32 teams not to have played a regular-season game in London since the international series started in 2007. But with the expanded NFL schedule of 17 regular-season games giving all NFC teams an extra home game next season, the Packers will finally play at a neutral international venue.
“With the league move to the 17-game season, we knew this was a possibility, and we’re really excited about it,” Packers president Mark Murphy said.
“I, for years, have be talking to people in London and Europe, we have so many great fans all over Europe and all over the world, that I think it’s really exciting for them to be able to see the Packers play in London. I know our fans here in the United States, obviously here in Green Bay as well, are going to be excited to be able to travel to see Packers play in London.”
Murphy said one drawback of the London trip is the loss of a potential home game and what that means to the Green Bay economy. Murphy said “we’re going to try to have as many major events as we can going forward to make up for this” and noted the possibility that Green Bay could host the 2024 draft.
According to Murphy, Green Bay is one of three finalists for the 2024 draft along with Detroit and Washington, D.C. Murphy said he expects the NFL to announce a decision during the league meetings in late March.
The expansion into Germany will also see the NFL stage an additional game in Munich and two in Frankfurt over the next four seasons.
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