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Steelers Among NFL’s Largest International Fanbases



Steelers Fans Mexico
Pittsburgh Steelers fans from Mexico at the team's game against the Baltimore Ravens, Jan. 24, 2023. -- Alan Saunders / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers have always had a national fanbase, but a recent study of international NFL fans shows that the Steelers have one of the largest groups of fans outside the United States of any team in the league.

According to a study by, the Steelers are NFL franchise with the sixth-highest percentage of international fans, when it comes to their social media followings. Of the accounts that follow the Steelers, 38.7% are based internationally, while 61.3% are from the U.S.

The San Francisco 49ers have the highest percentage of international fans at 51.1%, followed by the Minnesota Vikings (44.5%), New England Patriots (44.5%), Green Bay Packers (43.8%) and Seattle Seahawks (43.3%).

The Steelers also have the second-largest percentage of an international following from one country, as 9.2% of the team’s fans are from Mexico. The Dallas Cowboys, which has 9.8% Mexican followers, have the largest single group of international fans.

Other countries with significant international followings include Germany, where an NFL regular season game was played for the first time in 2022, Brazil, Canada, China, India and the United Kingdom.

The Washington Commanders have the most American fans, at 78.5%, followed by the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, Houston Texans and Chicago Bears.

The Steelers are expected to eventually host a game in Mexico City at some point in the coming years. The club has an international marketing arrangement in Mexico and promotes Spanish-language social media feeds and alternate audio broadcasts of games. This year, the team’s preseason games will be broadcast in Mexico for the first time.

Estadio Azteca, where the team has played in the preseason in the past, is not available to the NFL for 2023 while undergoing renovations for hosting the 2026 World Cup. The club could be in line to play there in 2025.

“We would definitely like to play in Mexico again sometime soon,” president Art Rooney II said earlier this offseason. “We have a great fanbase down there, and we have the right under the new international program the league has to have more of a presence in Mexico.

The Steelers also have international marketing rights in Ireland, where former chairman Dan Rooney was the United States Ambassador and the Rooney family has long ties. The Steelers last played in Ireland in the 1997 preseason, and could also look to return to Dublin in the near future, as well.

“Our aspirations long term are to play a game in Ireland,” Rooney said. “As we move through the process, we’ll be evaluating all options.”

This season, the NFL will have five international games, with two in Frankfurt, Germany an three in London, England. The Steelers last played internationally in 2013, when the lost 34-27 to the Minnesota Vikings at Wembley Stadium.

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