NFL eyes Mexico, Germany, Toronto
EmptyMIAMI -- London won the honors this year, but Mexico, Germany and Toronto are strong candidates to host an NFL game in the 2008 season, National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday.
NFL owners have voted to play up to two games outside the United States every year for the next five years, beginning with a single contest in 2007. That game, between the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins, will be held at Wembley Stadium on October 28.
The first NFL regular season game held outside the United States was played in Mexico City between the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers in 2005.
"It was a great success and it led, frankly, to the fact that our ownership would approve playing regular season games on a limited basis annually," Goodell said at the commissioner's annual news conference during Super Bowl week.
"We love Mexico. We have a great fan base there. It's growing every day. We are very interested in going back. And we hope to be dealing with the various officials in Mexico to try to get that done for the 2008 season."
Other international reporters prodded Goodell about the prospects of the NFL staging a game in their patch.
"We've had a great deal of interest from Toronto to host a regular season game," said the NFL commissioner.
Asked if the league would consider putting an expansion franchise in Toronto, Goodell said the time was not right.
"We're not in an expansion mode right now," he said. "We're making sure our 32 teams succeed at the highest possible level at their current markets. Toronto is a great city and would be a great host if they had an NFL team. But that's for another day."
Another reporter noted the growing interest in American football in Germany.
"I met with the Lord Mayor of Dusseldorf just last week and he has a tremendous amount of interest in doing this game," Goodell said. "We also have interest from Berlin and Frankfurt."