The NFL announced Wednesday it is exploring long-term partner city for future International games in Germany.
The league has played 28 games in London dating back to 2007, and is now looking to expand its foothold in Europe to capitalize on the game’s growing popularity in Germany.
“The International Series has become a highlight of the sporting calendar in the UK, with many fans travelling from Germany to attend,” NFL Head of UK and Europe Brett Gosper said Wednesday. “We are very excited about the development of our German fan base, and the time is right to identify a partner who can execute a game at NFL standards as part of our international growth strategy.”
Football’s growth in popularity among Germans has been measured through Super Bowl viewership, fantasy football participation and merchandise sales.
“This process is designed to explore potential local partnerships, stadium suitability and game logistics,” Gosper added. “We need engaged and motivated host partners that span the public sector, venue, sport, community and major event spheres and can help us deliver a high-impact event and a long-term partnership. Identifying a preferred host city is a key step in bringing regular-season NFL games to our millions of German fans.”
The league held five preseason games in Germany from 1990 to 1994, but also had professional clubs in the country between 1991 and 2007.
Berlin Thunder, Cologne Centurions, Frankfurt Galaxy, Hamburg Sea Devils and Rhein Fire all played in Germany as a part of NFL Europe and other ventures.