Building off of the tremendous success of the NFL International Series of regular-season games in the UK, the NFL will return to Mexico for a regular-season game in 2016, NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL announced today at his press conference in San Francisco in advance of Super Bowl 50.
The Oakland Raiders will host the Houston Texans at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on Monday night, November 21. The game will be televised live on ESPN in the United States and on Televisa and ESPN in Mexico, marking the first-ever Monday Night Football game to be played outside the US.
"Expanding our International Series of regular-season games to Mexico marks an important step in our continued international growth," said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. "We have a tremendous, passionate fan base in Mexico and we know the atmosphere on game day will be outstanding."
The NFL played its first international regular-season game on October 2, 2005 when a crowd of 103,467 saw the Arizona Cardinals defeat the San Francisco 49ers 31-14 in Mexico City.
"Mexico is honored to be selected by the NFL to host a regular season game, " said Mexico's Minister of Tourism, ENRIQUE DE LA MADRID CORDERO. "Our country has been host to numerous high-profile international events including Formula One and we look forward to leveraging the popularity of the NFL in the US and international markets to showcase Mexico's incredible tourism offering."
"Grupo Televisa is excited to confirm that a regular season NFL match will return to Estadio Azteca in 2016, and continue the tradition of hosting the NFL in Mexico," said Vice President of Televisa Deportes, YON DE LUISA. "We look forward to celebrate Estadio Azteca's 50th Anniversary along with Mexico´s increasing and passionate NFL fans."
"The Raiders are honored to once again represent the National Football League in its International Series," said Raiders Owner MARK DAVIS. "The Raiders are truly a global brand and we look forward to visiting the loyal and passionate members of the Raider Nation in Mexico City."
"We are excited the Houston Texans can represent the NFL on an international stage for the first time on Monday Night Football this fall," said Texans Owner ROBERT C. MCNAIR. "This is a great opportunity to grow our brand on a global scale and we are looking forward to playing in front of a passionate crowd at historic Azteca Stadium."
NFL owners approved a resolution in 2015 to extend the ability to play international regular-season games through 2025 and enable the league to play games in countries other than the United Kingdom. The success of the International Series in the UK has helped more than double the Sunday television viewership of NFL games there with the Super Bowl audience increasing more than 75 percent. The league also has developed new and stronger business partnerships and, according to internal research, has a UK fan base of more than 13 million.
The decision to next move the International Series to Mexico was based upon several factors, including general fan interest, current NFL visibility through existing media agreements, the size and value of the overall sports and entertainment market there and the potential to build year-round marketing, sponsorship and fan engagement.
The passion of the Mexican fans is consistent with the burgeoning US Hispanic fan base. According to the Nielsen Company, average viewership for regular-season NFL games among Hispanics has risen 28 percent in the past five years alone, and the addition of a regular-season game in Mexico will help to unite this extraordinary audience of NFL fans.