For about a decade football has become America's National pastime, but Commissioner Roger Gooddell wants the NFL to be fully cemented on the international scene… Except Canada.
Over the last fifteen years the NFL has done a very good job building themselves as a global brand. They have held games in Toronto, Canada, Mexico City, Mexico, and London, England. There has been a lot of rumors that at some point all three cities will have a team of their own, but for now the Commissioner is just focusing on one off games.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held his annual end of season press conference and he fielded questions from reporters for about 45 minutes, and Goodell gave some good insights on the NFL's plans on the international stage.
Goodell announced that the NFL will return to Mexico City in 2020 and 2021 to play a regular season game both years. So far dates and teams have not been confirmed, but this years participants will be announced when the 2020 schedule is released in April.
Goodell said the NFL had a great experience this past November and that the NFL is proud to return to Mexico the next two seasons.
"We had a great experience this past November down in Mexico, Goodell said. 'It was just a great event and we loved being there. We look forward to being back and we are proud to be able to say we're going to be there for two more games over the next two years."
For fans in Toronto who are hopeful the NFL will one day start a franchise north of the border, Jon Scott of Spectrum Buffalo News says that Gooddell says that it "couldn't be farther from the truth" Goodell says the biggest issue would be building a stadium that would meet the league's standards. Scott says the NFL has turned the page on a possible franchise in Toronto.
There has been a ton of speculation that the NFL will expand into London for more than just a couple of games, but the Commissioner isn't thinking that far down the road and right now the priority is just continuing to build the game in London.
"Our job is to make sure London continues to grow ... we have to get back to making sure we can make a London team succeed in a competitive way,"