Germany to host first NFL regular-season game in 2022

The NFL will host it's first-ever regular-season game in Germany at the Allianz Arena in Munich in 2022. Matthias Balk/picture alliance via Getty Images

The NFL will host a regular-season game in Munich, Germany, next season for the first time in its history, the league announced Wednesday.

There will be five NFL regular-season games played internationally next season, with three games played in London, one in Mexico and one in Germany.

The Jacksonville Jaguars said in a statement Wednesday they will return to London next season with a game at Wembley Stadium.

The league was previously weighing up three potential German host cities -- Munich, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf -- with a goal to host its first games in the country no later than 2023. However, the NFL have announced it will host its first-ever regular-season game in mainland Europe later this year.

The NFL plans to host the first game at the Allianz Arena in Munich next season, followed by Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt in 2023. The league would then return to Munich in 2024 and Frankfurt in 2025.

"We are very pleased to welcome Munich and Frankfurt to the NFL family and are excited to reward our fans in Germany for their passion by bringing them the spectacle of regular-season NFL football," Goodell said in a statement ahead of Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles on Sunday.

"We look forward to staging our first game in Germany at Bayern Munich's fantastic stadium later this year and to exploring areas of broader collaboration with the Bundesliga."

Next season's International Series will mark the first time that the NFL has returned to Germany since it hosted five preseason games between 1990 and 1994.

The country also had a number of host cities for teams in the NFL's overseas competitions (the World League of American Football, NFL Europe and NFL Europa) between 1991 and 2007, though Munich was never involved in that period.

The league announced in December that 18 teams had been granted access for marketing, fan engagement and commercialization across eight countries.

A total of four teams -- the Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- were granted access to Germany, and the NFL said in a statement that it would ensure franchises play in their designated international markets "where possible."

Last season, the NFL resumed its annual international series after coronavirus-related travel restrictions caused the 2020 series to be cancelled. A total of two games were held in at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London in October -- the Atlanta Falcons beating the New York Jets, followed by the Jacksonville Jaguars' victory over the Miami Dolphins a week later. The latter was the NFL's 30th game held in London since the series began in 2007.

NFL owners approved a resolution last year to guarantee four international games per season starting in 2022, in the United Kingdom, Mexico and Germany. The resolution also stated that all 32 NFL teams would be mandated to play overseas at least once every eight years.

The Green Bay Packers are the only team to have never played an international game.