An NFL regular season game in Australia is moving closer to a reality

Sport, News, Australia, NFL, Other Sports, TAS News

Australia has been confirmed on a list of potential host countries for an NFL game as soon as the 2025/26 season with officials set to visit prospective venues in coming months with the MCG a possible host venue.

NFL teams the LA Rams and Philadelphia Eagles, where Australian Jordan Mailata has become a star, have formal ties with Australia and the league is looking to expand its global footprint.

Team owners voted last December to authorise the league to host eight games internationally each season and games will be played in London, Germany and Brazil this coming season. A game in Spain is slated for 2025.

The future could include a game in the Asia-Pacific region sooner rather than later and Peter O’Reilly, the NFL’s head of international affairs, said at the league’s spring meetings that Australia is among the markets being discussed.

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“Australia is among a set, and it’s not a small set of markets, that we’re looking at,” O’Reilly said having updating team owners on the list of countries named as possible hosts.

Any games would in Australia would likely be played in October and November putting major venues including the MCG and Accor Stadium in Sydney in line to host.

The MCG traditionally converts to cricket as soon as the AFL season is over but has previously held off dropping in pitches to accommodate other major events including concerts.

Mailata is among a raft of Australians in the NFL, including punter Tory Taylor who was drafted by the Chicago Bears ensuring high priority for a potential regular season match.

There was Major League Baseball game in Sydney in 2014 which involved a reconfiguration of the SCG.

Knowing what it takes to move games off-shore, O’Reilly said the “logistics” of staging an NFL game so far from the US would have to be considered.

“When you start to talk about Asia, Pacific and Australia, you talk about distance and logistics and the football component of that,” O’Reilly said.

“So those factors are real.

“But our role is to really look at the globe, look at where the fan base is strong and do the diligence, make the evaluations.”

The NFL’s Australian presence will already increase when an official academy opens in September on the Gold Coast.

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