Patriots

Report: There are ‘growing indications’ the Patriots will host a game in Germany in 2023

New England was awarded Germany as an International Home Marketing Area in January and the NFL played its first game in Germany on Sunday.

The NFL played its first game in Germany on Sunday. AP Photo/Steve Luciano

The Patriots could be making a trip overseas soon.

A day after the NFL played its first game in Germany, NBC Sports’ Peter King reported Monday that “there are growing indications” that the Patriots could serve as the home team for a game in Germany in 2023.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Saturday that the league plans to play “at least” four more games in Germany through 2025. In addition, Goddell indicated that the Patriots, along with the Chiefs, are lobbying to play in the 2023 Germany game.

The Patriots potentially playing a game in Germany shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. The franchise was awarded Germany as an International Home Marketing Area (HMA) at the beginning of 2022 when the NFL began its HMA initiative. The initiative allows the Patriots to have marketing, fan events, merchandise sales, and more opportunities in Germany for at least the next five seasons.

“When it comes to international markets, Germany has always had the most passionate fan base for American football,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement in January. “We have worked hard to grow our global fan base since I bought the Patriots in 1994 and we have had the good fortune of exponential growth in Germany since drafting Sebastian Vollmer in 2009, a German native who enjoyed an eight-year Patriots career and retired a two-time Super Bowl champion. Our popularity has continued to grow with the addition of Jakob Johnson in 2019. With this new NFL initiative, we are eager to engage with fans in Germany in new and creative ways and can’t wait to play a game there.”

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Many thought that when the Patriots were awarded Germany as an HMA, they would play a game there in 2022. Of course, the Buccaneers and Seahawks were awarded the game instead as Tampa Bay was also granted Germany as an HMA. Tom Brady’s Buccaneers squad pulled out a 21-16 win on Sunday in the first-ever NFL game in Germany.

There’s a stronger chance that the Patriots will play in Germany next season because the Patriots, along with the rest of the AFC, will have nine home games, meaning the NFL will use AFC teams to host international games, according to King.

The Chiefs, who are one of the other four teams that received Germany as an HMA, are also on the Patriots’ home schedule for next season. However, there’s also a strong indication that Kansas City will also host a game in Germany next season, King reported. The Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Chargers, Eagles, Commanders plus the teams that finish in the corresponding spot in the AFC South and NFC South are the other opponents the Patriots are scheduled to face at home in 2023.

While Sunday’s Seahawks-Buccaneers game was played at Allianz Arena in Munich, the 2023 game (or games) in Germany will be played at Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt. Both stadiums were contracted to host at least two NFL games prior to the 2022 NFL season.

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New England has played in a few international games, but none since 2017 when it faced the Raiders in Mexico City and hasn’t played in Europe since it played the Rams in London in 2012. The Patriots have won all three of their international games.

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