When and where is the NFL going to play in Spain? What we know so far
The Spanish capital has been rumoured to be preparing to host an NFL game in the coming year.
Rumours are circulating that Madrid is being targeted by NFL as a potential venue for a game, set to take place in 2024.
The Spanish capital is rumoured to be a destination for NFL’s European expansion, a project which sees various games take place across the continent, away from their US homes. Three games in London and two in Frankfurt are already scheduled for 2023, meaning that Madrid would be the next European city with the honour of hosting the event.
FootballZebras broke the news, saying that “two sources with knowledge of the plans have said that a game in Madrid is all but locked in for 2024″. The game would be, according to the source, a regular season game, just like in London and Frankfurt.
Tottenham agree new NFL deal until 2029/30 season
Madrid has never hosted an NFL game before, but London is quite the expert city, with Tottenham Hotspurs’ imaginatively named Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hosting 12 of the league’s 32 teams so far. The extension of the agreement between NFL and the English club has just been extended to to the 2029-2030 NFL season, making Spurs’s ground the definitive home of the sport in the UK.
Where would the Madrid NFL game take place?
There are, however, some questions to be raised, such as where the game would be played. Two venues are reportedly under consideration: Atlético Madrid’s Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano and Real Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. The former has a capacity of 70,460 and is a natural grass pitch while the Bernabéu has a capacity of 83,168 and is a hybrid grass pitch reinforced with synthetic fibres.
The soccer pitch of the 14-time European champions is also retractable, meaning that an extra layer of protection can be given to the surface (see the video below), a huge talking point in NFL in recent times. The report says that the NFL UK offices have been scouting the two venues in Madrid before a final decision.
When will the NFL game in Madrid take place?
We have little to no information at this time when the game would take place, apart from it being in 2024. NFL’s European schedule is quite full for the rest of the year, meaning that the event would almost certainly be in 2024, and not before the end of the current year.
Added to that, both Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid’s schedules are incredibly crammed from now until the end of the season, meaning that any action that is not soccer would find it incredibly difficult to squeeze itself onto the 2023 page of the calendar.
Where else could NFL play games outside of the USA?
Another potential venue for NFL to move to is Mexico. The same report as the one that broke the news of the potential agreement with Madrid also hinted at the fact that NFL are looking towards Mexico and more specifically, the Estadio Azteca in Ciudad de Mexico. However, given the huge building works project that the stadium is currently undergoing ahead of the World Cup 2026, something which has been scaled back due to local disputes, the idea is being put on hold for the time being.