Buccaneers to be home team in NFL’s first regular season game in Germany, per report

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be one of the two teams playing in Germany next season, per Ben Fischer of the Sports Business Journal. The game, which will be played at FC Bayern Munich Stadium, is one of five international series games to be played in the NFL in 2022. 

The German website is reporting the Kansas City Chiefs appear to be the opponent in the Munich game, with the game scheduled to be formally announced next week. The Chiefs, who have a close connection to FC Bayern Munich, have reportedly pushed the NFL internally to play in Munich and get the “home rights” — meaning they’d forfeit a home game at Arrowhead Stadium. 

The Buccaneers and Chiefs are two of the 18 NFL teams selected to freely market their team across eight different countries — with Tampa Bay and Kansas City choosing Germany. The league’s Home Marketing Area Initiative is a five-year plan that allows marketing methods such as in-person events, sponsorships, and merchandise sales, along with a high priority to compete in the countries granted in — hence the potential Germany matchup. 

The game would be a rematch of Super Bowl LV, when the Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs 31-9. 

The NFL has played five games in Germany — all at the Olympiastadion in Berlin — when the league hosted the preseason “American Bowl” from 1986 to 2005. The NFL went to Germany for five consecutive years from 1990 to 1994 and hasn’t returned until this year’s International Series game, although the league’s involvement in Germany played a crucial role in NFL Europe. 

Germany had NFL Europe franchises in Cologne, Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Düsseldorf up until the league folded in 2007. Eight stadiums in Germany hosted games during NFL Europe’s existence, seven of which still host events.

Germany will host four International Series games over the next four seasons, two at FC Bayern Munich Stadium and the other two at Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt. The NFL’s five international games will take place in London (two at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and one at Wembley Stadium that the Jacksonville Jaguars will host), Mexico City, and Munich. 

The Buccaneers have played in three regular season games outside the United States, sporting an 0-3 record. The Chiefs are 2-0 in international games, winning in London in 2015 and Mexico City in 2019. 

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