The relationship between the NFL and Mexico continues to grow. Even after a well-publicized black eye stemming from field conditions following a Shakira concert in 2018 that forced the cancellation of Monday Night Football, the league has remained all-in on keeping fans south of the border fully engaged in professional football. The matchup between the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs went off without a hitch in 2019, and that set the stage for more football to come at Estadio Azteca.
Looking ahead to the 2020 season, the NFL has officially announced the Arizona Cardinals will be the home team in Mexico City, making for a rather short trip from Scottsdale, Arizona -- even though it's an international event.
"Two years ago when the NFL awarded Super Bowl LVII to Arizona and State Farm Stadium, we understood the requirement of hosting an international game before 2023," Cardinals chairman and president Michael Bidwill said of the decision. "We are thrilled to learn that this game will take place at Estadio Azteca where we received such an enthusiastic reception in 2005. We are extremely grateful for the support we receive from fans in Mexico and look forward to an incredible experience."
The opponent has yet to be set, but it can only be one of eight teams. There are the Cardinals division rivals in the Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers, but they also have home games against the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, and Washington Redskins. Considering the NFL wants as much pomp and circumstance surrounding the game as possible, it's a safe bet the matchup will be an NFC West clash, but that's to-be-determined at the moment.
This will mark the fifth NFL contest in Mexico and fourth since 2016. Attendance has never dipped below 76,000 and its inaugural game in 2005 -- the first regular season game ever played outside of the U.S. -- put over 103,000 fans in the stands. It's safe to say Mexico has love for the NFL, and the NFL most certainly has love for Mexico.