The NFL is targeting two new countries for its next slate of international games.
France and Spain are the next potential countries to host regular-season games, Brett Gosper, the NFL's head of UK and Europe, told the Associated Press in an interview this week. Both are “very much on our radar" as the league continues to do its homework on new host countries.
“When you know that there are teams operating in [the international rights program] you want to look at the prospect and the viability of potentially having games in those markets at some point,” Gosper said. “Certainly, in the next six months to 12 months we’ll be really testing the viability of our options from a stadium point of view — not just in Europe but elsewhere — and then at the same time in parallel seeing what the appetite is for clubs to potentially exploit those markets with a game."
“[France and Spain are] two very healthy media markets, healthy sports markets, some strong indicators from our streaming platform as well as from our consumer sales,” Gosper added. “When you mine the data a little bit, they certainly are two markets with high potential.”
The NFL has played at least one game in London since 2007 and added two more games in 2019 after the opening of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The league also had its first game in Munich, Germany, this past weekend and will play its fourth international game in Mexico City on Sunday.
Like with London and Germany, Spain and France have a few major soccer stadiums which could accommodate an American football game.
Madrid is especially interested, according to a 2021 report, with Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu Stadium as the premier location for an NFL game. That stadium is also undergoing huge renovations that would make hosting an NFL game easier. Camp Nou in Barcelona is another option as it has the largest capacity in Europe with 99,000 seats and will also undergo renovations to increase that number.
The Stade de France in Paris, which hosts the French national team, seats about 80,000 for soccer matches.
Another country Gosper included was Sweden, which can seat 50,000 fans in its biggest stadium, Friends Arena, in Solna. The NFL played a game in Gothenberg in 1988 between, unsurprisingly, the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears.