Oct 17, 2021; London, England, United Kingdom; A general overall view of the NFL Shield logo at midfield during an NFL International Series game between the Miami Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, the NFL announced that it would be heading to mainland Europe in 2022. The league will play a game in Germany in each of the next four seasons, with two games each being played in Munich and Frankfurt.

Back in the fall, the league announced that Munich, Frankfurt, and Dusseldorf were all in the discussion to host games.

In the league’s release, it’s noted that there will be five international games next year, up from two this past season and equal to the five that took place in both 2017 and 2019. Mexico will also host a game in 2022, along with the three London games.

The game in Munich is one of five international NFL games scheduled for 2022, along with one in Mexico and three in the UK — two will be played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as well as a Jacksonville Jaguars home game at Wembley Stadium. Home teams for the international slate will be announced in the coming weeks, though dates and matchups won’t be released until the 2022 NFL schedule announcement later this year. With the advent of a 17-game regular season, each team is required to stage at least one international game every eight years

Germany will host four International Series games over the next four seasons, with the 2022 matchup and an additional one at FC Bayern Munich Stadium, the home of the Bundesliga champions. The two other games will be played at Frankfurt Stadium.

I won’t lie: I winced at seeing “FC Bayern Munich Stadium” and “Frankfurt Stadium” in the release. Big-time UEFA/FIFA anti-sponsorship vibes.

As for who will be playing in these games, it’s still up in the air. The Saints will reportedly be hosting one of the London games, and the league announced that the Jaguars will also be hosting one. I’d guess one of the four teams that was granted Germany as an international market (Panthers, Chiefs, Patriots, Bucs) would host the Munich game in 2022 (and really, it would make sense for each of these four teams to host a game there over the next four seasons). The Panthers and Bucs each have nine home games scheduled for 2022, seemingly giving them an edge in hosting.

It would also make sense if one of the nine teams (Cardinals, Cowboys, Broncos, Texans, Chiefs, Raiders, Rams, Steelers, 49ers) that was granted marketing rights in Mexico hosted the game there. The Raiders, who hosted the first two Mexico games in 2016 and 2017, only have eight home games scheduled in 2022, while the Chargers, who hosted in 2019, weren’t granted rights to Mexico. The Rams, who were scheduled to host the 2018 game before it was moved to the LA Coliseum because of poor field conditions in Mexico City, do have nine home games scheduled in 2022.

The NFL had a foothold in Germany during the heyday of NFL Europe. The Frankfurt Galaxy were one of the most successful NFL Europe teams, winning four World Bowls from 1995 (in the years before the WLAF was rebranded as NFL Europe) through 2007 and finishing as runner-up another four times. Interestingly, Munich didn’t have an NFL Europe team, nor does the city have a team in the newly established European League of Football. The ELF’s inaugural champion last season? The reborn Frankfurt Galaxy.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.