Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL since 2006, and with a contract until March 2027, spoke to AS (his first interview with a Spanish media outlet) on the grass of Frankfurt’s Deutsche Bank Park, a few minutes before the Kansas City Chiefs’ clash with the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
The Chiefs’ 21-14 win in Germany was the 49th game that the American football league has taken outside its borders to promote its sport and respond to the interest of thousands and thousands of fans spread across the planet.
These kinds of games are a huge success. What are the chances of having an NFL game in Spain?
I think very high. We think that the interest in Spain has been extraordinary. The fan base has been very enthusiastic. As you know, we have a history of playing in Spain. We played a number of American Bowls in Barcelona. Also played with our World League team. So we think the fans are ready for it. They have absolutely spectacular stadiums there, which is very attractive to us too. So I think the chances are high we’ll be seeing a regular-season game in Spain.
Maybe next year?
Maybe. We’re still debating. We have a number of complications we just have to work through. So we’re still considering that. But I would expect a decision in the next 45 days.
So the decision is between Spain or Brazil.
It’s likely that that’s what it’s down to at this point. We’ve had interest from other markets, but I think those are probably the two new markets. We may be moving the Game. We’re going to be back in Munich next year here in Germany and London, of course.
It seems that Madrid is ahead of Barcelona as a potential venue. Bernabéu or Metropolitano?
I think they’re all on the table, but we’ve had extensive discussions with Madrid. We find its stadiums very attractive, as well as the other stadiums. But they were with us in London several weeks ago and had an opportunity to see what we were doing in London. So we’ll continue those discussions and make a decision pretty soon.
What does the NFL expect from Spain?
Well, I think the same passion they’ve shown for Football until now. I think the reason we would come there is because they’ve demonstrated that fandom. They’ve demonstrated their interest in this Game and how they want to participate in that. And I think they see these Games and they see the way the German fans and our UK fans have all wrapped their arms around these Games and made it theirs, and have shown that it’s very special to have a Game in their market and to show the world that they’re Football fans.
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