NEW YORK (AP) NFL owners approved more international games through 2025 on Wednesday, including ones in places other than England.
An agreement to stage games in the United Kingdom through 2016 not only was extended, but other nations will be considered for international games. Mexico, Germany and Canada are among those interested in regular-season games, with Mexico a front-runner next year.
The league will announce the 2016 international games this fall. Three games are being held at London's Wembley Stadium this season for the second straight year, and that number could be increased.
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''This marks an important step in our-long-term international growth,'' Commissioner Roger Goodell said. ''We think it's time to expand our international series to other countries and respond to the growing interest in our game not only in the U.K., but elsewhere around the world.''
The league also is looking at moving the Pro Bowl to international sites. Brazil has expressed interest in the all-star game, and Mark Waller, the NFL's vice president/international, said Australia and Asia also were potential sites.
Earlier this year, the NFL agreed with English Premier League club Tottenham to play at least two games a season at its new stadium in north London, which is scheduled to open in 2018. That is a 10-year deal.
Regular-season international games began in 2007 at Wembley. One game per year was played until 2013, when the league increased it to two. Now there's thought of a half-dozen or more such contests, the majority in Britain but with the NFL reaching out to other regions, too.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL