The National Football League plans to play a series of regular season games in China as early as 2018, according to multiple reports.
The NFL has already played regular season games in a short list of foreign nations, including Mexico, Japan, and the UK. But the league now looks to add China to that growing list.
“International is a big push right now,” New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch said Monday at a meeting of NFL owners in Florida according to ESPN.
UPDATE: Source tells @NFLonFOX that NFL could play regular season game in China as early as 2018.Handful of teams already expressed interest
— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) March 21, 2016
Recently the NFL signed a new deal to play at least two games per year in Britain’s new Tottenham Hotspur stadium. But the league is looking to add even more nations to the list including Germany, Brazil, and China.
Playing in China would present some of the biggest technical hurdles for the league. China, for instance, would present some of the longest travel times not to mention lag times for broadcasting.
“It’s fascinating to think about,” Tisch added. “It’s very exciting, very exotic to think about. But if we do get to a point where the NFL plays a game in China, the logistics are going to be interesting. A lot to figure out in terms of getting there, playing there, coming back from there to the States, how do you maintain the parity with the other 30 teams who don’t have to play there. So, a lot to be worked out still before that could happen.”
Indeed the NFL is expanding its reach abroad. Only a month ago, for instance, it was reported that the Houston Texans were planning an away game against the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City this year.
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