The National Football League might be finished with its in-season exhibitions in Mexico City after the 2019 season.
The National Football League is in the midst of a slow, sustained rollout of its product into international territories in hopes that the American game of football can become a globally known product with world-renowned stars. Unfortunately its efforts in Mexico and Latin America might be stifled after this coming year.
For now, the NFL has a single game scheduled for the regular season in Mexico City to be hosted at Estadio Azteca between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs. However, word has leaked that the funds used to bring in such international sporting exhibitions—which also includes Formula 1 racing—will no longer be available after 2019.
Per Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco, Mexico has decided the subsidies for these events are better served elsewhere. “It would be good if [the NFL] stayed, but it is a reality that we do not have a budget for the following year,” he said.
The situation has to frustrate the NFL given that its attempts to expand the game’s popularity south of the border have been thwarted on multiple levels. Last season, the playing surface at Estadio Azteca was deemed unfit and unsafe to play upon and many coaches and players expressed their frustrations at the conditions. The game was ultimately moved to Los Angeles, leaving a lot of planning and efforts completely sidelined.
Here is the reality, however. The NFL is already a tax-exempt organization in the States flush with billions in cash with franchises owned by a segment of the most wealthy families on planet earth. It’s a bit silly to ask Mexico to subsidize an NFL contest when the league itself is going to profit from raising its profile in new territories. In short, if the NFL wants to host football in Mexico City, it should pay to do just that.
The league needs no financial help to pull off any event it would like, and it’s sickening that taxpayers have already been forced to do so in the case of new stadiums, draft events, and the like. Whether in the U.S. or another country, the NFL should at least have the integrity to pay its own bills.