Connect with us

Steelers News

Steelers Don’t Expect International Game in 2024

The Pittsburgh Steelers do not expect to play an international game in 2024, team president Art Rooney II said.



Brazil NFL international

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Pittsburgh Steelers are not expected to be playing in the first-ever NFL game in Brazil to open the 2024 season against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to team president Art Rooney II. They do expect to play in an international game soon and have expressed a desire to go over to Germany to eventually play a game there after being awarded international marketing rights in the country.

“As we stand today, we don’t think we’re going to have one in 2024, but we think soon,” Rooney said.

Rooney later responded when asked if the team had heard anything about playing the Eagles in Brazil.

“Not as far as we know,” Rooney said.

This was expected, as Browns defensive lineman Maurice Hurst hinted last Monday during an interview with the Browns Radio Network that the Browns could end up playing in Brazil this season.

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. Therefore, the Steelers, Browns, and Green Bay Packers were 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.

Alan Saunders contributed to reporting from Orlando.