The Seahawks have proven they can win in London and Toronto.
Now they’ll get a chance to show they can win in Munich.
The Seahawks were officially selected Wednesday morning as the opponent for Tampa Bay in the NFL’s first regular-season game in Germany on Nov. 13 at Allianz Arena, the home of FC Bayern Munich. Kickoff is 6:30 a.m. PT.
The announcement was made as the league revealed the full lineup for its international series of games for 2022.
Tampa Bay had earlier been named as one of five home teams for an international game this season, selected as the host in Munich.
Seattle had been scheduled to play the Bucs in Tampa Bay, and being named to play in Germany does not take away from one of the Seahawks’ nine scheduled home games in 2022. The rest of the NFL schedule will be revealed May 12.
The NFL announced in February its intent to begin regularly scheduling games in Germany as part of its efforts to broaden the international reach of the league, with Frankfurt also set as a site for a game 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,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement in February. “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.”
According to the Seahawks, fans wishing to receive the latest news about the games, including ticketing updates, should register at: www.nfl.com/internationalgames. Tickets for the game will be available in June. Exact dates for sales windows will be announced later this month.
The game will be Seattle’s second as part of the league’s international series, the first coming in 2018 in London against the Raiders at Wembley Stadium, a contest the Seahawks won 27-3.
The Seahawks also played Buffalo in Toronto in 2012 in a contest that was part of the Bills’ annual series of games played in that city from 2008-12 and was not technically part of the NFL’s international series. Seattle won that game 50-17.
FC Bayern Munich’s stadium officially opened on May 30, 2005, and has a capacity from 70,000-75,000. It has hosted the 2006 World Cup and the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final and is also set to host the 2025 UEFA Champions League Final.
When the NFL increased the schedule to 17 games last year, it also announced that up to four teams in the conference getting nine home games, which this year is the NFC, will be designated as home teams for international games.
Tampa Bay was granted a game in Germany, the Packers and Saints games in London and Arizona a game in Mexico City. Jacksonville, which has established a significant presence in London and has been playing one game a year in London, will host Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos there on Oct. 30.
In December, the Bucs were one of four teams granted access to a new International Home Marketing Area (IHMA) in Germany, along with the Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots (the Seahawks were granted IHMA access to Canada at that same time).
That designation, along with Tampa Bay’s huge appeal due to its recent success with Tom Brady and winning the Super Bowl following the 2020 season, helped lead to the team being picked to host the German game.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, are regarded as having a particularly strong following in Germany.
Lukas Spiess, president of the German Sea Hawkers since 2018, wrote in a message to The Times this week that there was a sizeable German contingent on hand in London when Seattle played the Raiders at Wembley in 2018, adding, “Seahawks merchandise is very visible in everyday life in Germany nowadays.
“The Seahawks have been popular here for several years,” Spiess explained. “The team hit a time window just right with the exciting time of the Super Bowl win (following the 2013 season) and the LOB (Legion of Boom) coinciding with a phase where NFL games started to be televised more prominently on German free TV. This gave them a lot of exposure right around the time when they were very successful and had a team with plenty of players full of swagger and I think many German fans latched on to that.”
Seahawks general manager John Schneider foreshadowed the team’s selection for the Munich game when he said slyly during a press conference last month that he and team scouts had heard “every genre of music” being played in highlight films of prospective draftees “so we started with German lessons this morning in there” instead.
Schneider said “it got hard really quick, so we ended up turning it off” and going back to music.
Seattle’s roster includes linebacker Aaron Donkor, a native of Achern, Germany, who was allocated to the Seahawks last year as part of the league’s International Player Pathway Program. He spent all of 2021 on the team’s practice squad and then was re-signed following the season.
Following Schneider’s comment about learning German, coach Pete Carroll joked they were “just trying to get a little bit better with our teammates.”
Wednesday made official those lessons will come in handy next November.