The NFL has made some limited successes in breaking into an international audience. Part of that strategy has been playing games abroad. Mexico City and London have hosted several NFL games to bring the American sport to international crowds. However, like everything else we love, the NFL is canceling these games because COVID-19 is still a thing.
The NFL is canceling its London and Mexico City games for the 2020 season.
The NFL is canceling the games because of the uncertainty surrounding travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has infected more than 1.2 million Americans and killed more than 77,000. The U.S. has the highest infection and death numbers in the world from the pandemic.
Officials for the NFL made the decision to move the games from abroad for the overall goal of stopping the spread of COVID-19.
“After considerable analysis, we believe the decision to play all our games domestically this season is the right one for our players, our clubs, and all our fans in the US, Mexico, and UK,” NFL executive vice president, chief strategy and growth officer Christopher Halpin said in a statement. “We greatly appreciate the support of our governmental and stadium partners in Mexico and the United Kingdom, who all agree with this decision, and we look forward to returning for games in both countries in the 2021 season.”
As some countries begin to ease some of their lockdown measures, the fear of a second wave is looming over the global community. Some countries have already seen some second spikes that they have fought to combat.
International fans of the sport are saddened by the news but understand.
The international games are the only chance for foreign fans to enjoy American football. With a few games a year, these fans really look forward to finally being able to don their favorite team’s jersey to cheer them on to victory.
“We also thank our incredible fans in those territories for their passionate support of the NFL,” Halpin said in a statement. “We will continue to serve them through our outstanding media partners and by being active supporters of both grassroots football and COVID-19 relief efforts in Mexico and the UK.”
Even American fans are sad that the teams are missing out on their international games.
If there is one thing that football fans love it is more football. The international games would play in the morning in the U.S. offering a full day of football before Saturday Night Foot. It is hard to overdo something that you love and football is something that people who love really love.
There was one thing of which all of the fans on social media agreed.
The Jaguars in an international game? For some fans, it was too much to understand. The Jacksonville team is not the most popular in the league and their season is calling for 16 away games this season.