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Looks Like Steelers Won’t Play in Brazil Game vs. Eagles



Brazil NFL international

The Pittsburgh Steelers will not be playing in the first-ever NFL game in Brazil to open the 2024 season against the Philadelphia Eagles, at least as long as you take one Cleveland Browns player’s word for it.

Browns defensive lineman Maurice Hurst said on Monday that the Browns are playing in Brazil this season, during an interview with the Browns Radio Network.

Hurst said the team is playing in Brazil this year, and both he and the hosts, who are employed by the team, accepted that as a matter of fact. It hasn’t been announced who the Eagles’ opponent will be in their Week 1 game in São Paulo, Brazil.

The Steelers are one of the teams that have a road game at the Eagles this season, and had been a candidate to play in the Brazil game. The Browns, Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Green Bay Packers are Philadelphia’s non-division home games in 2024.

The NFL has not typically forced teams to give up divisional home games to play internationally. The Jaguars and Panthers are playing in Europe this season, and the Falcons played in London in 2023, leaving the Steelers, Browns and Green Bay Packers as the most likely options to face the Eagles.

Hurst later retracted his statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying that he had only read speculation about the team playing in Brazil, but had no inside information.

“I have 0 confirmation that we’ll be playing in Brazil, just excited at the possibility of being one of the first teams to do so!” Hurst wrote. “Would be happy lining up with this team anywhere!!”

The Browns have not removed or edited the interview. Peter King of NBC Sports first speculated that the Browns would be the likely opponent for the Eagles.

The NFL announced in December its intention to play its first game anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere in Brazil in 2024. The game will be played in São Paulo, Brazil, at Arena Corinthians, the home of the soccer club SC Corinthians. The game will be played on Friday, Sept. 6, on the second day of the 2024 NFL season. The partially enclosed stadium seats 49,205, though it was expanded to over 68,000 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The stadium also hosted the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2019 Copa América.

Brazil is considered an important potential future market for the NFL, with 38 million fans, according to NFL metrics, which makes it the second-largest international audience, behind Mexico.

“Bringing the NFL to new continents, countries and cities around the world is a critical element of our plan to continue to grow the game globally,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a press release. “Brazil has established itself as a key market for the NFL, and we are excited to be playing in Brazil and São Paulo for the first time in 2024. We look forward to working with the city of São Paulo, SP Turis and Corinthians Arena to deliver a world-class game day experience for this passionate and growing fan base.”

Beyond Brazil, the NFL will have games in London, England and Munich, Germany in 2024. The Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars will host games in London and the Carolina Panthers will host the game in Munich.

For the second straight year, the NFL will not play a game in Mexico due to renovations at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. The league hopes to return to that venue in 2025, and the Steelers could very well be a part of that return.

The Steelers have international agreements in Mexico and Ireland and have not yet hosted an international game under the new league rules that require a team to do so — and give up a home game — once every eight years. The Steelers have played one regular season game internationally, losing 34-27 to the Minnesota Vikings at Wembley Stadium in London in 2013.

With the Steelers not playing an international game in 2024, they look to be one of the favorites to play in Mexico in 2025. The Steelers have also expressed a desire to play a game in Ireland at some point in the future, though that could be a preseason game, as they have played in the past.