On Sunday, the Raiders will give up a home game to "host" the Patriots in Mexico City. A couple hours before the international game, the NFL reached an agreement that ensured football will be back in Mexico in the years to come.
The NFL and Mexico's Ministry of Tourism announced on Sunday that they've reached an agreement to play three regular-season games in Mexico from 2019 to 2021. The current agreement expires after 2018. And the new agreement will be formalized at a later date.
From the release:
The Ministry of Tourism highlighted the importance of high impact sporting events for the promotion of Mexico's tourism both nationally and internationally. This agreement is part of the strategies that are implemented within this sector to increase economic impact.
These events have provided economic benefits to Mexico City and the country as well, by supporting the tourism sector and offering our country a platform to be promoted internationally within the main markets that generate tourists.
The relationship with the League has served as a platform to significantly boost the tourism industry in Mexico, with fans taking advantage of the opportunity to expand their trips and explore the country.
This shouldn't come as a surprise. With more and more games being played in London, the NFL has clearly committed to expanding the game on a global scale. A year ago, the Raiders played the Texans in Mexico City and the game was a smashing success.
"We have a tremendous fan base in Mexico," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in February when he announced this year's game. "Their passion for football is inspiring, and we look forward to another memorable game in Mexico City between two great teams next season."
It's not yet known which teams will participate in the games to come.