LONDON -- Tuesday's selection by the NFL of Dsseldorf and Frankfurt as host cities for a regular-season German game was a victory for the NFL.
The NFL announced that Germany will host its first international football match next season, but didn't mention 2022 or 2023.
The league released a statement saying that Dsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Munich were invited to move to the "candidate phase" of the process after an initial period when expressions of interest from many cities were received. "These cities will now be involved in deeper discussions about hosting games in Germany."
Germany is home to a large and growing NFL fanbase and is one of the largest economies in the world, making it a natural target for a league that envisions worldwide growth.
"The strong interest that we have received in German cities underlines how great this opportunity is for a host," stated Brett Gosper (NFL head for Europe and UK).
Gosper said last week that France, Spain, and "the Nordics", are all in the longer-term plans of the league to host games.
Gosper stated that the first German game will be played "certainly not later than' 23."
Tuesday's announcement is made during the NFL's return from London, after a one year hiatus due to the pandemic. The Atlanta Falcons defeated the New York Jets by 27-20 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. This stadium will also host the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars (and the Miami Dolphins) this Sunday.
In June, the NFL announced a bidding procedure.
The NFL encouraged German bidders, in order to form a consortium that included the city, region and stadium owner. Along with infrastructure and ease-of-travel, the stadium is key.
"We want to partner with local and regional governments, stadium owners, and potential commercial partners in order to identify a stadium capable of handling the logistics for an NFL game." Gosper stated in the statement that they wanted this partnership to last a long time.
Tottenham's state of the art facility is custom-built for hosting soccer and NFL games. It has a capacity of 62.850. The club has seven years remaining on its 10-year deal to host two NFL games each year.
Since 2007, the NFL has held 29 regular-season games here. The majority have been played at Wembley Stadium which can accommodate more than 80,000 people.
Germany is a major source of college football players in America. Five teams were represented in the previous World League/NFL Europe/NFL Europa. Jakob Johnson, the New England Patriots' fullback, is German. David Bada, Washington Football Team's defensive end is also German.
Gosper stated last week that France was the next logical European host after Germany. Spain and the "Nordics" are also very strong. These markets show high growth rates in viewers and fans as the NFL monitors consumer figures for products such as Game Pass or Madden.
The NFL has so far played 39 international regular season games: 29 in London and six in Toronto. Four in Mexico City.
The expanded schedule of 17 games has allowed the NFL to resume a schedule with four international games.
This extra game is in line with the league's offer for teams to search specific regions internationally for exclusive marketing rights.
If they have been granted marketing rights in a foreign country or city, they could still volunteer to play their home games overseas.
NFL teams that have strong links to other countries might find it more appealing to play home games in those regions. Jacksonville did this in London. Sunday's game at Tottenham will be the first time that the Jaguars have played at Tottenham. They have already played there eight times.
Shad Khan, owner of the Jaguars and Fulham in English second-division soccer, offered to purchase Wembley Stadium three year ago.