Texans, Raiders to Play Game in Mexico City Next Season

J.J. Watt
The Associated Press
Houston, TX

The Houston Texans reportedly play a away game against the Oakland Raiders next season in Mexico City.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Texans owner Bob McNair and president Jamey Rootes have pressed the NFL to allow them to schedule an away game in Mexico City because of a growing fan base in the foreign capital city.

While saying he didn’t want to a home game used to play in Mexico, McNair said he thought an away game would be the ideal opportunity to appeal to Mexican fans.

“We’ve always expressed that we have an interest in participating internationally as a road team (and), we’ve made it clear that we were most interested in doing that in Mexico,” Rootes told the media. “It’s an amazing opportunity for teams and the league.”

He added, “Mexico City is a logical choice for a team like the Texans. We’d be a great ambassador for the league.”

The Raiders, with troubles securing a new stadium deal in Oakland and the prospect of moving, look like an ideal team to host a home game far away from home.

A match between the Texans and the Raiders wouldn’t be the first NFL game played in Mexico City. In 2005 the Arizona Cardinals beat the San Francisco 49ers 31–14 at the Estadio Azteca arena in Mexico City. It was the first regular season game ever played in Mexico.

With 103,467 spectators, the 2005 contest also set a record, since broken, for the largest regular season game attendance in NFL history.

The league hopes to expand its most recent foray into foreign venues. Since 2000, over a dozen games have been played in the United Kingdom, but exhibition and regular-season games have also been played in Japan, Canada, and Mexico.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com