NFL planning game next season in Mexico
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The NFL is planning to play a regular-season game in Mexico City this year, with the Raiders hosting the Texans.
A person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Thursday that the NFL will return to Mexico for the first time in 11 years. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the NFL has not announced the game officially. Commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to do so in his Super Bowl news conference Friday.
A date for the game has not yet been determined; the NFL schedule comes out in the spring.
ESPN.com first reported the Texans-Raiders game would be played in Mexico City.
The Raiders, of course, are having stadium issues in California, and the Texans have a strong interest in the Mexican market.
The Raiders applied for relocation to Los Angeles for the 2016 season, but league owners voted to allow the St. Louis Rams to move, and also gave an option to the San Diego Chargers to join the Rams in L.A. That left the Raiders in an outdated stadium while they try to work out something in Oakland.
So playing a home game elsewhere, particularly in the potentially profitable Mexican market, makes sense for the Raiders, too.
No NFL game has been played in Mexico since a regular-season match between Arizona and San Francisco in 2005 drew more than 103,000 to Azteca Stadium. The NFL also has played seven preseason games there, none since 2001.
Mostly, the league has concentrated on games in London, and it has three scheduled for 2016. Washington plays Cincinnati and Indianapolis plays Jacksonville at Wembley Stadium, with the Bengals and Jaguars as hosts. The Giants face the Rams at Twickenham Stadium, a rugby ground being used for the first time, with the Rams as host.