(Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
Along with the NFL owners formally approving the 17-game regular-season schedule and deducting a preseason game at the virtual owners meetings yesterday, the league also announced every team will be required to play an international game once every eight years.
“This is a monumental moment in NFL history,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “The CBA with the players and the recently completed media agreements provide the foundation for us to enhance the quality of the NFL experience for our fans. And one of the benefits of each team playing 17 regular-season games is the ability for us to continue to grow our game around the world.”
Bob Labriola of Steelers.com talked with Steelers president Art Rooney II today at the conclusion of the two-day virtual owners meeting and asked him about teams being required to play an international game once every eight years and the league adding Germany and South America as places that could host NFL games in the future.
"We're fortunate to have fans in other countries around the world, and so at some point we'd like to have a Steelers game played in Mexico and potentially in other countries," Rooney told Labriola. "You always have to balance that with we're not that anxious to move home games. Under the current proposal we would only have to move one game every eight years, something like that. It's not going to be that burdensome on us, but I do think it's something where we do want to grow the game internationally and play games in front of our fans in Mexico and other countries.
"We're lucky enough to have Steelers fans in a lot of different places, and we'd like to play in front of them sometimes."
As Rooney mentioned, the Steelers have a huge fan base across the world, but especially in Mexico. It would be quite an atmosphere to see the Steelers play a regular-season game in Mexico. The last time the Steelers played in Mexico was a preseason game against the Colts in 2000. The Steelers lost the exhibition game, 24-23. The last time the Steelers played an international game was in Week 4 of the 2013 season against the Vikings in London. Minnesota won the game, 34-27.