Arena Corinthians
Arena Corinthians will serve as the venue for the 2024 NFL in Brazil game; it already hosted games for the 2014 FIFA World Cup as well as the 2016 Olympics. (Via Rodrigo Coca/Agência Corinthians) Via

ALABAMA - In its ongoing mission to expand the world of football and globalize its brand, the NFL announced on Wednesday that Brazil will host a regular season game in 2024, the first time ever that a South American country will do so.

The Arena Corinthians will be the venue for the NFL in Brazil game, and it is expected that more than 50,000 fans will attend. Designated teams for the league's 2024 international schedule are expected to be announced early next year.

After introducing their international series back in 2005, the NFL has now played a game (preseason and/or regular season) on five different continents around the world.

During the 2023 December League Meeting in Dallas, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the addition of Brazil to the league's schedule for 2024. "Brazil has established itself as a key market for the NFL, and we are excited to be playing in São Paulo for the first time in 2024," Goodell said.

The addition of Brazil into the NFL's international landscape comes just one year after the league decided to include the German market into their international coverage.

According to figures from the Associated Press, Germany has now surpassed the United Kingdom as Europe's biggest NFL market. Even though they both share around the same amount of 'avid' fans with 3.3 million, Germany has slightly more 'casual' fans, with a total of 17 million. For the first-ever NFL in Germany game last year, the Seattle Seahawks vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers game hit an online queue of 770,000 people seeking to buy tickets, more than doubling the demand seen in London games.

Thanks to watch parties, social media and other marketing and licensing initiatives launched by the league, viewership and fan engagement of football has been on the rise globally. According to league figures, more than 56 million people outside the U.S. tuned in to watch last season's Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles. Out of those 56 million, Brazil had a total audience of around 2.5 million, a 19% increase compared to the previous year and the highest increase in at least a decade.

According to league numbers, Brazil is an important global market for the NFL, accounting for more than 38 million fans, with 8.3 million of them considered as 'avid' fans. Only Mexico, who will see their international games suspended until at least 2025 due to the Estadio Azteca's ongoing renovations for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, has a bigger international market for the sport.

NFL in Mexico has been a huge success over the years, hosting a total of five regular season games, including the first-ever regular season game to be held outside of the U.S. in 2005 when the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers drew a crowd of more than 103,000 fans to the legendary Estadio Azteca.

Cities to host the most NFL regular season games (not including future games)

London – 36
Toronto – 6
Mexico City – 5
Frankfurt – 2
Munich – 1

Ricardo Nunes, the mayor of the city of São Paulo, also highlighted the importance these type of events can have in the community. "Through our hard work, we will now be able to welcome the NFL to our city, hosting this historic game that will have a positive impact on tourism, employment and the city's economy," Nunes declared during the league's meeting in Dallas.

Earlier this year, the NFL announced that their Global Markets Program, an initiative launched in 2022 with aims to grant NFL teams access to international markets for marketing, fan engagement and other activities in order to build their brands, has seen an increase from last year's inaugural numbers. A total of 21 NFL teams participated in the program in 2023 (two more than in 2022), reaching a total of 14 international markets, an increase of four compared to the previous year.

These partnerships have also proved key to developing grassroots football in places like South America. For example, NFL Flag programming was launched in Brazil in 2023 in partnership with the Brazilian American Football Confederation (CBFA), following the announcement of flag football's inclusion in the 2028 Olympic Games calendar.

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