NFL Agrees to Play Game in Mexico Through 2021 Season

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2017

Fans interact during NFL football's Fan Fest at Zocalo Square Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Mexico City. Thousands of football fans descended on the city's historic main plaza Saturday, one day before the New England Patriots face the Oakland Raiders in a football game at Aztec Stadium. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

The National Football League and the Mexico Ministry of Tourism reached an agreement to play one NFL game in the country in every season through 2021.

Michael Signora‏, the league's vice president of football communications, announced the extension of the current deal, which covered 2016-18, on Sunday.

The news comes on the same day the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders are scheduled to face off at the famed Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. It's the second straight year the Raiders made a trip south of the border after they scored a 27-20 win over the Houston Texans in 2016.

In February, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell praised the support from the league's Mexican fans when he announced the clash between New England and Oakland.

"We had a great experience last year," Goodell told reporters. "The Texans and the Raiders, we couldn't have asked for a better reception from our fans in Mexico. We always envisioned that it would be more than a one-year commitment. We're going to come back next season."

He added, "That's something that we're proud of, and by having the Patriots and Raiders play in Mexico next year, we hope that that very positive will show that we're reaching out to our fans in Mexico, we're reaching out to our Hispanic fans here in the United States. We're going to continue to do those things. We think they're positive and they can be helpful overall."

Meanwhile, Kate Linthicum of the Los Angeles Times highlighted the growing popularity of the sport in Mexico and provided comments from University of Texas at Austin professor Matt Bowers about the importance of that increase amid sluggish television ratings and other issues facing football in the U.S.

"If you're looking at what's happening in the NFL right now, the international market becomes more attractive," Bowers said. "Maybe they've reached capacity in the American market."

Sunday's announcement didn't include any further information about the dates or potential matchups for the next four years of games in Mexico.

Related

    Woman in Reuben Foster Case Recants Domestic Violence Claim

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Woman in Reuben Foster Case Recants Domestic Violence Claim

    NBCS Bay Area
    via NBCS Bay Area

    Inside NFL's Confidential Meeting on Protests

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Inside NFL's Confidential Meeting on Protests

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report

    Simms' Final Mock Draft Predictions

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Simms' Final Mock Draft Predictions

    Chris Simms
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Packers Among Teams Trying to Move Up

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Report: Packers Among Teams Trying to Move Up

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report