2021 will mark the return of an NFL game to Mexico for the first time since 2019, giving local football fans the chance to see some of their favorite players up close. What details have been released so far and what we can expect from this event?
The Details So Far
At the start of 2020, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated that the league would play one game in the Estadio Azteca in each of the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Of course, the chances of a game being played in Mexico in 2020 were shot down as the Covid crisis caused sports events all over the planet to get canceled or re-scheduled.
The game in Mexico wasn’t the only event to be affected, as the NFL’s annual trip to London was also put on ice in 2020. With a shorter season and strict safety protocols in place, the entire season was played in the US.
No date has yet been confirmed for the 2021 trip, and we don’t know yet which teams will take part either. However, the success of the previous games there and the absence of the NFL in Mexico for a couple of years mean that it is a keenly-awaited event.
Next year’s game is likely to appeal to Americans who want to travel for a game, as it is to people living in Mexico who love football. Anyone who needs NFL betting explained to them before this game will find plenty of information online, with the latest odds and previews.
What Were Previous NFL Events in Mexico Like?
In 2019, a Monday night game was played here between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chiefs won 24-17 on a memorable night in Mexico City. Among the highlights was Patrick Mahomes passing for 182 yards and a touchdown for Travis Kelce.
Over 76,000 spectators turned up for the game, with the majority of them showing their support for the Chargers, who were officially the home team. Even the Mexican President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, got involved by meeting NFL Commissioner Goodell.
Prior to that, the 2018 game was cancelled due to fears over the safety of the playing surface at the giant Estadio Azteca, with the game eventually moved to Los Angeles. This led to stadium bosses removing the controversial hybrid surface and returning to a grass playing surface to meet future requirements.
The first game under this agreement had come in 2016, as the Oakland Raiders played the Houston Texans in Mexico’s capital city and won 27-20. However, the first NFL game to take place in this country was actually in 2005, when the Arizona Cardinals defeated the San Francisco 49ers 31-14. Several of the games in Mexico have attracted crowds of over 100,000.
What Happens Next?
We expect to find out soon which teams will be playing in Mexico City in 2021, and on what dates. The schedule for the new NFL season has already been announced and it is now a question of waiting to see which teams are chosen to make the trip across the border.
Looking further ahead, the current deal to stage these international NFL games runs out in 2021, but there has been speculation that another agreement could be reached soon for the years beyond that. Recently, the agreements between these authorities have been for 3 games spread over 3 years.
Unless anything goes wrong in the meantime, the NFL will be back in Mexico in 2021, meaning that football fans once again get a chance to see their heroes in action.
The exact details of the game should be confirmed soon. Let’s hope that fans are allowed in the stands to watch in action some of the best quarterbacks and the greatest defensive backs in NFL history. We can’t wait!