The biggest game in sports is only a few days away in Super Bowl LI, but the NFL is already making headlines for the 2017 season. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced in his press conference this week that American football will return to Mexico in 2017. The Oakland Raiders once again will be one of the headliners as they host the New England Patriots at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
The silver and black had a pleasant experience and enjoyed a warm welcome playing south of the border this past season. They escaped a competitive matchup against the Houston Texans 27-20 in front of a sold-out crowd of 76,473. It was the first Monday Night Football game played in another country and only the second game ever played in Mexico. The Raiders embraced the opportunity to put on another show in front of the Mexican fans for a second consecutive year.
Raiders owner Mark Davis released the following statement about next year’s game according to NFL:
“The Raiders are excited to return to Estadio Azteca and represent the National Football League once again on an international stage,” said Raiders Owner Mark Davis. “We enjoyed tremendous support from the Raider Nation in Mexico in 2016 and look forward to experiencing that great passion again this year.”
It will also be the Patriots second return to Mexico, but their first regular season game. They last played in Mexico City back in August of 1998 when they beat the Dallas Cowboys, 21-3. Patriots owner Robert Craft also had strong words for the hosting country, saying “it was a great experience, and I am looking forward to our return.”
This matchup is the fifth international game that has been confirmed for the 2017 NFL season, accompanying four others taking place in London. It is part of the NFL’s strong agenda to expand football outside the borders.