The NFL has become a global sensation, with Germany experiencing a surge in its appeal. Explore NFL's Germany journey, relive its inaugural game, discover the significance of its presence, and immerse yourself in its captivating history in the country!
While its influence has spread far and wide, Germany has emerged as a hotbed for NFL enthusiasts.
The NFL's impact in the region has grown exponentially in recent years, with a significant fanbase and a series of exciting events from NFL Europe that have left a lasting impression.
Discover the significance of the NFL’s presence, and immerse yourself in its exciting upcoming games in Germany!Explore NFL Germany hospitality
What has fuelled the NFL's appeal in Germany?
The NFL's fanbase in Germany has been significantly boosted by NFL Europe, which ran for 18 years with teams in Germany, England, Holland, Scotland, and Spain.
In NFL Europe's last season, five out of six teams were located in Germany, cementing a strong fanbase within the country.
Although the NFL Europa League has concluded, the popularity of NFL continues to soar in Germany and Europe. This can be seen through the attendance of live games, as well as the high viewership of NFL games on television and streaming platforms.
Another reason for the NFL's popularity in Germany is the presence of international games and events. The NFL has committed to regular-season games in the country, such as last year’s match up between the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Munich.
These events provide German fans with the opportunity to watch their favourite teams and players in person, creating a closer connection to the sport.
Moreover, the NFL's marketing initiatives and the easy access to NFL merchandise have played a part in growing its fanbase in Germany.
NFL teams have been actively reaching out to German fans through social media campaigns, fan events, and player appearances, nurturing a close-knit community and strong loyalty.
The NFL’s growth in Germany can be attributed to its dedicated fanbase, the new availability of live games and events, and the active engagement of NFL teams with German fans.
When Was the First-ever NFL Game Played in Germany?
In 1990, an NFL game made its debut in Germany on the 11th of August. This historic match featured the Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs facing off at Olympiastadion in West Berlin. The Rams emerged victorious with a 19-3 win in this preseason game.
The game was originally intended to be held in Frankfurt, a city with a more robust American business and military presence. However, in West Berlin, the population was primarily made up of young university students and elderly citizens, which didn't draw the expected attention.
Barry Shuck, in an article on Big Blue View, highlights that the Berlin game set the stage for a significant development: the birth of NFL Europe. This developmental league, played in the spring, aimed to provide valuable experience to the bottom third of each NFL club's roster. It's important to note that this league didn't hire players who weren't part of an NFL team; every player was rostered within the league.
Originally named the 'World League of American Football' (WLAF), it began with ten franchises, three of which were based in Europe. One of these teams was the Frankfurt Galaxy, situated in the largest city in the German state of Hesse.
This league eventually evolved into NFL Europe, later rebranded as NFL Europa, before dissolving in 2007 due to continued financial challenges and the NFL's shift towards hosting regular-season games in Europe.
The Most Memorable NFL Games in Germany History
In 2022, a hugely significant event unfolded in Munich - a face-off between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seattle Seahawks. This game marked the NFL's inaugural regular-season match in Germany, creating a historic and unforgettable experience.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seattle Seahawks made history by playing the first NFL game at the Allianz Arena, home of FC Bayern Munich.
The Buccaneers came out victorious with a score of 21-16, breaking several NFL records in the process. Tom Brady threw his 93rd game-winning drive and set the record for most 4th quarter comebacks.
Running back Leonard Fournette had 23 carries for 88 yards and scored two touchdowns, while the Buccaneers defense held the Seahawks to just 23 rushing yards. Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith replaced an injured Russell Wilson, throwing for 211 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw one interception.
On an all-or-nothing 4th down for Seattle, Geno Smith threw a 19-yard touchdown to get the Munich crowd back on their feet and make it a one-score game at 21-16
The game was a groundbreaking success for the NFL's International Series, which had previously taken place in London and Mexico City.
Significance of NFL Presence in Germany
Due to such a huge fanbase in Germany, the NFL has decided to play two of their biggest games at the Deutsche Bank Park.
In terms of future games, the NFL has announced that there will be two International Games in Germany in the 2023 season, the Kansas City Chiefs v Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots v Indianapolis Colts.
These games serve to create memorable experiences for both German fans and the teams involved, further fuelling the popularity and growth of the NFL in Germany.
How to attend a German NFL Game
The NFL Germany Series is set to return in the autumn, with an exciting lineup that includes the New England Patriots, six-time Super Bowl champions, and the Kansas City Chiefs, who will be making their highly anticipated German debuts.
If you are looking to attend an NFL Germany game, you can enjoy the very best NFL Germany gameday experience by opting for hospitality packages over general admission.
With official hospitality, you'll have the opportunity to elevate your NFL experience and enjoy perks such as delicious food and drink options, NFL entertainment, live music and so much more. NFL Germany is sure to be a day to remember!Book Kansas City Chiefs v Miami Dolphins HospitalityBook New England Patriots v Indianapolis Colts Hospitality