The National Football League announced the next phase of their efforts to take the game to international markets earlier this week with the addition of the 17th regular season game on the schedule going forward. The added contests each season will give the league a number of games with which they can showcase the sport in new environments, knowing that each team is already going to have eight home games to rely on for local revenue and fan connection.
Every NFL team, K.C. Chiefs included, will be asked to play one game internationally every eight seasons. That’s not a big ask in the bigger picture, but in the scheduled season, such International travel can be daunting. Hence the reason why the league is only asking for a rotation of nearly a decade between such games.
Some teams will be asked to travel much farther than others, as the league has announced initiatives to continue their relationship with a burgeoning fan base in the UK while also stretching to other European markets as well as South America and Central America—specifically naming Germany and Mexico City among their continued efforts. However, Canada is also in the mix.
When it comes to a team like the Chiefs, it will be interesting to see if they get a chance to play where a current player is from. Of course, it would have to work out sooner than later and it’s likely a longshot, but offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has been a excellent ambassador for the game in other ways, and it would be fun to see the Chiefs “host” a game in Montreal in order to show the region what LDT looks like up close in red and gold.
Will the NFL give LDT a chance to play in his native Montreal?
The Chiefs selected Duvernay-Tardif as a prospect out of McGill University, not exactly a well-known pipeline for NFL talent. However, scouts raved about his potential as a developmental prospect, and LDT put in the hard work to make it happen. His natural talents and large frame came together under positional coach Andy Heck, and Duvernay-Tardif was rewarded with a long-term starting spot at right guard.
Last year, Duvernay-Tardif decided to opt out of the season in order to help treat COVID-19 patients in his native Quebec. That means he’ll be competing for a starting role with the likes of Kyle Long and Andrew Wylie. That’s why it’s impossible to tell if LDT and the Chiefs will be together long enough to make such a reach happen. However, the city of Montreal has made it clear that they would be excited to welcome an NFL game at Mosaic Stadium. Per a release from the Montreal Alouettes, the CFL team that plays there:
"“As the sole professional football team in Quebec, we view any major football events in the province as a positive. For the past two years, we have felt excitement for our sport during the month of February with the presence of Quebecers in back-to-back Super Bowl. If an NFL game in Montreal allows our fans to watch more football and makes them happy, then we can only rejoice.”"
Not only would it be fun to see Duvernay-Tardif get a taste of home, but it would also be advantageous for the Chiefs to limit their international travel to playing in Montreal, which is just a two-hour drive north of Burlington, Vermont. Imagine getting to check that off the organizational list with a very easy trip (and then be done with it for another 8 seasons) versus having to take a plane ride of 9 to 12 hours to play somewhere in Europe and deal with the time changes and jet lag in the midst of a season.
While it’s fun to consider, the reality is that a lot of planets would need to proverbially align in order to make this happen—in other words, the league would likely want to see some real financial ramifications having a native Montreal player given a chance to play at home. That really makes zero sense in this case given that Patrick Mahomes is the future face of the game. It’s likely the NFL asks the Chiefs to show off Mahomes in an exciting new market in order to best leverage their marketing assets.