The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play the first NFL regular-season game in Germany this year, while the Green Bay Packers will compete in their first global fixture after the top American football league today unveiled the teams scheduled to play internationally in the 2022 campaign.
The NFL announced that the Buccaneers, Packers, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, and New Orleans Saints will all play international games next season across Germany, Mexico, and London in the UK.
The Buccaneers, who lost at the divisional playoff stage of the 2021-22 NFL season, will play in the NFL’s inaugural regular-season game in Munich, Germany, which will be played at the Allianz Arena, home of German soccer giants Bayern Munich. As well as Munich, Frankfurt was chosen to stage a regular-season game in Germany over the next four years, earlier this month.
The Packers, meanwhile, will become the 32nd and final NFL team to play in London since 2007. The Wisconsin-based franchise – one of the NFL's most storied and renowned, with regular home stadium sellouts – will play at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, home of the English Premier League soccer club. They have never played a game outside the US before.
The Saints will play in the UK for the third time having won on two previous occasions, while the Jaguars had already announced that they would play a home game at Wembley Stadium in 2022.
The Jaguars, who played at Tottenham last season, will return to Wembley for the first time since 2019, having played there for seven straight seasons.
The New Orleans franchise meanwhile will return to London to play their first game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after having played at Wembley in 2008 and 2017.
Aside from in 2020, the UK has hosted regular-season NFL fixtures (30 in total) for the last 15 years.
The Cardinals will play at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, where they hosted the league’s first-ever regular-season game outside the US in 2005. The team’s last game at the stadium was watched by 103,467 fans, as of now the eighth-largest crowd in NFL history.
Details of the dates, matchups, and kickoff times will be confirmed as part of the full 2022 schedule announcement later this year.
In 2021, as part of the NFL’s expansion of the regular season to 17 games, the league’s 32 teams passed a resolution that from next season onwards, all teams will play internationally at least once every eight years, with up to four overseas NFL games to be scheduled each campaign.
As well as this, in December the NFL gave 18 of its 32 franchises access to 26 International Home Marketing Areas (IHMA) across eight countries, a major initiative designed to give teams a strategic boost in building their brand appeal and fanbase globally. The UK was allocated the Jaguars, while the Buccaneers were given Germany as their host market.
Brett Gosper, NFL head of Europe and UK, has now said: “We have a great lineup of teams coming to the UK and Germany this year. Having the Packers become the 32nd team to play in London is tremendously exciting for the fans and a great sign of the league’s commitment to international games.
“The Saints have been long-time supporters of the UK, having volunteered to be the home team in the second year of London games in 2008, and we welcome them back. We are very excited to have a recent Super Bowl champion in the Buccaneers playing in Munich and thank them for ensuring that it will be a memorable launch of our series of games in Germany.”
Peter O’Reilly, NFL executive vice-president of club business and league events, said: “We are very excited to be staging five games outside the United States in 2022, and thank the clubs for their continued commitment to growing the sport internationally.
“Our fans in Germany, Mexico, and the UK can look forward to seeing some of the most iconic names and biggest stars in the league and enjoying an incredible series of events.”