On Monday night, the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans faced off for the NFL’s weekly Monday Night Football game. The game took place at Mexico City’s famed Estadio Azteca and was only the second regular season — games that count — NFL contest held in Mexico.
The game was certainly historic for the league. But it’s not something that’s necessarily appealing for the players.
The high elevation of the stadium mixed with the pollution in the city can make it difficult for players to breathe. Additionally, the league reportedly urged players not to leave their hotel for safety reasons.
But despite those concerns, last night’s game could be the start of something big for the NFL. Tickets for the game sold out in just 30 minutes after going on sale in July. And the NFL estimates that it has about 22 million fans in Mexico.
Entering new markets isn’t easy. But having an actual game in a new city could certainly help the NFL gain more fans, since many of the U.S. markets are already pretty saturated. That could mean more viewers for regular games, and potentially even a new NFL team in Mexico someday.
While this is happening, the NFL is aggressively pushing itself on the U.K. This year, there will be nearly the equivalent of a team’s total home games, 8, played at several stadiums in England. Rumors even persist that one of the league’s lagging franchises, namely the Jacksonville Jaguars, could end up there permanently very soon.
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And though it would likely be on a much smaller scale, this type of special event or trial period could be a good strategy for small businesses looking to enter new markets as well.
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Azteca Stadium Photo via Shutterstock