Real Madrid out to host NFL game at Bernabéu by 2025
The NFL is interested in taking the league to Spain, with Real Madrid keen to host regular-season action at their revamped stadium.
Real Madrid’s plan for the new Bernabéu, which is due for completion in mid-2022, is to make it a venue that hosts not only soccer, but all kinds of sporting and cultural events. Given that the revamped stadium is to feature a retractable roof, it will be able to stage events all year round, regardless of the weather.
Real Madrid propose Bernabéu as international NFL venue
As was first revealed by the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, one of the major events the Madrid hierarchy has set its sights on staging is an NFL regular-season game. Administrators of the NFL, a sports competition which generates more revenue than any other in the world ($13bn a year, per ESPN), have embraced taking the league to Europe in recent years and are particularly enthusiastic about playing in Spain, where the NFL's popularity has undergone a period of exponential growth.
Real Madrid are out to take advantage of this and have offered up the new Bernabéu, which as things stand is in pole position to stage overseas NFL action - although it is not the only option under consideration in Spain, sources close to the LaLiga club have told AS. A Real Madrid-NFL arrangement would be similar to that agreed with Premier League club Tottenham, who hosted two regular-season games at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2019, and are due to stage two more in October 2021.
AS understands that Real Madrid’s plan is to hold one NFL game between 2023 and 2025, although it is felt that 2023 may be too soon, given the potential for delays to the completion of the Bernabéu. The NFL has told this newspaper that it is not currently in talks with Real Madrid or any other organisation in Spain about taking a game to the country, but it doesn’t deny its intention to do so in the near future.
NFL in Germany before Spain
Before going to Spain, the NFL wants to hold a game in Germany. As has been reported by the US media outlet the Sports Business Journal, the plan is to stage a match at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena between 2022 and 2023. Although NFL is a growth sport in Spain, its popularity in Germany is increasing at an even greater rate, and the two million-strong German TV audience that watched February’s Super Bowl LV has persuaded NFL chiefs to step up moves to put on a game in the country.