American football’s NFL delays plan to play a game in China to 2019

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 July, 2017, 1:29am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 July, 2017, 3:23am

The NFL is delaying plans to try staging a game in China until 2019, when a contest could kick off 100th anniversary celebrations, a league official told Sports Business Journal.

NFL executive vice president of international Mark Waller said the league could look at launching the 2019 campaign of American football in China.

“It may make better sense to look at that game as an opportunity to celebrate our hundred years, in the event we can pull it off and as a way to look forward to the future,” Waller said.

The NFL, founded in 1920, would launch its 100th year with the 2019 campaign.

The league had talked about 2018 for a first-ever game in China, while earlier plans for pre-season contests in the country in 2007 and 2009 were scrapped.

Following the Los Angeles Rams delaying the opening of their new stadium from 2019 to 2020, the delay in a China game could open the door for the Rams to move a home contest there.

The NFL will play five regular-season games next season outside the United States, four in London and one in Mexico City, where the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders will meet in the Estadio Azteca on November 19.

In London, Baltimore will face Jacksonville on September 24 at Wembley Stadium, where Miami will meet New Orleans on October 1.

Arizona and the Rams will meet October 22 at Twickenham, with the famed rugby venue also hosting Minnesota against Cleveland on October 29.