As the NFL gets ready for a second straight Sunday in London, the league could soon be expanding to yet another country.
Via the Associated Press, Commissioner Roger Goodell said at a fan forum on Saturday that the league could put a game in a new international location “as soon as next year.”
“We actually have three or four markets that are here this weekend and next weekend that are interested in hosting a game,” Goodell said.
Spain and Brazil have been recently identified as possibilities. Germany joined the parade of nations last year. The NFL also has played regular-season games in Mexico and Canada.
It’s part of a broader effort to take an inventory of games that have saturated the American consciousness and get thousands if not millions of others in other countries consuming the content with, in time, the same degree of zeal and passion.
And it makes sense for the league to play more neutral-site games. There’s currently an imbalance in the schedule, with 17 games. Ideally, every team will play eight traditional home games, eight traditional road games, and one neutral-site game. In a league that is otherwise obsessed with competitive balance, the fact that some teams get nine true home games definitely impacts that effort to smooth out any and all advantages.