NFL looking to hold regular season games in Germany

Germany has long been the European center of American football, so it was only a matter of time the league put a game in Deutschland.
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The NFL has already made the giant leap across the pond, and now they're looking to make one more hop to mainland Europe.

On Wednesday, the NFL announced it is formally seeking a partner to host regular season games in Germany.

"The International Series has become a highlight of the sporting calendar in the UK, with many fans traveling from Germany to attend," said Brett Gosper, the NFL's chief executive in charge of European operations. "We are excited about the development of the German fan base, and the time is right to identify a partner who can execute a game at NFL standards as part of our international growth strategy."

An expansion into Germany is a natural progression of the NFL's broadening horizons. 

To date, the league has held 28 games in London since launching the International Series in 2007 with two more on the schedule for this fall. Those games, at least at first, succeeded in large part due to the number of American expats living in London and the UK. 

But, from this side of the pond, it seems Germany is the European capital of American football. 

The World League of American Football (eventually NFL Europe) launched with teams in Germany, England and Spain. But by the time the league folded in 2007, five of the six teams were located in Germany. Only one lasted from the 1991 launch to the 2007 farewell -- the Frankfurt Galaxy.

Furthermore, the NFL lists Germany as "a leading market" for fantasy football participation, NFL Shop sales and sales of the Madden video game series. Super Bowl ratings in Germany have risen more than 20 percent in recent years. 

The NFL also put its international combine in Germany in 2019, and there were four German-born NFL players on 2020 rosters, according to Pro Football Reference

Duetscheland seems to be home to plenty of German football fans, as opposed to football fans that happen to live in Germany. 

If and when it happens, Germany will be the first nation outside the United States, England and Mexico to host a regular-season NFL game. And it seems much more like a "when" than an "if."