After the successful premiere last autumn in Munich, where quarterback icon Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers played against the Seattle Seahawks in front of almost 70,000 enthusiastic spectators at the Allianz Arena, the National Football League (NFL) will once again be a guest in Germany this year. This Wednesday, the NFL announced its international plans for 2023 live on American television, in which Germany will be considered with two games.

Jan Ehrhardt

Sports editor.

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When the world's strongest football league announced just over a year ago that it would be hosting a regular season game on German soil for the first time, Commissioner Roger Goodell initially said that the NFL would hold four games – two of them in Munich and Frankfurt – from 2022 to 2025 as part of its internationalization efforts. Because the originally planned NFL game in Mexico cannot be held this year due to renovation work on the Estadio Azteca there, Germany was awarded the contract for a second game in 2023, also as a result of the positive impressions of Munich, according to NFL circles.

Super Bowl winner Patrick Mahomes in Frankfurt

As has now been announced, these two NFL games will take place on two consecutive Sundays in Frankfurt. On November 5 and 12, the current Super Bowl winner and NFL champion Kansas City Chiefs with quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the New England Patriots with coaching legend Bill Belichick will be guests at Deutsche Bank Park, where Bundesliga soccer club Eintracht Frankfurt plays its home games. The Chiefs will face the Miami Dolphins, the Patriots will face the Indianapolis Colts a week later.

Frankfurt is "a city with a great NFL tradition," said NFL Vice President Peter O'Reilly, who is responsible for internationalization. The league is therefore "full of anticipation to play both games in the Eintracht Frankfurt stadium and thus build on the incredible atmosphere at the last game in Munich". As early as 1995 to 2007, the logo of the NFL was present in many places in the city of Frankfurt, when the league operated a kind of second football league on European soil with its "NFL Europe", of which Frankfurt Galaxy was a part. However, this project was discontinued in favour of the international games held from 2007 onwards. In addition to Frankfurt, the NFL will hold three more games in Europe this year, all in London in October.

"The fixtures in Germany will offer fans two very exciting games in November," said Alexander Steinforth, General Manager of NFL Germany. "The league would like to thank our partners, the DFL (German Football League), the City of Frankfurt and Eintracht Frankfurt for the good cooperation. We can't wait for the Frankfurt Stadium to play host to some of the biggest teams in our sport in the autumn."

The NFL associates ambitious goals with its games in Germany. In addition to a worldwide audience of millions on the TV sets, the league expects hundreds of thousands of football fans in Frankfurt – in the stadium and at the numerous planned fan festivals in the city area, which the league is already preparing together with the teams. These include, for example, separate fan zones of the individual teams in restaurants, public viewing opportunities and NFL events in public places.

"It is a great honor for the city of Frankfurt am Main to be able to host two international NFL games in the stadium in November of this year," said Frankfurt's head of sports and designated mayor Mike Josef (SPD). "The Games make Frankfurt even more attractive as a sports city. The city of Frankfurt and the region are eagerly awaiting the two major events. The fact that the NFL is coming to Frankfurt is a great enrichment, especially for the sport and the regional economy."

The tickets for the German premiere in Munich, which had cost between 75 and several hundred euros, had been sold out in a matter of minutes. Munich then experienced a veritable rush of football enthusiasts from all over Europe around the Buccaneers' game against the Seahawks. For the two games in Frankfurt, the NFL, which wants to develop more and more from a purely American to a globally perceived league, is now hoping for a similar effect; and to a long-term effect beyond the two Sundays in November.

League boss Goodell has long since revised his statements regarding NFL games in Germany, at least in part. Further games over the agreed four up to and including 2025 are absolutely within the realm of possibility, said the 64-year-old last year. A separate European team, based in Great Britain, for example, or even a separate European regional group of the NFL with four teams is also conceivable in the coming years. That sounds like a dream of the future. But NFL games in Germany used to be that too. And this year there are even two of them.