Were you looking forward to watching the NFL’s first ever game in China in 2018? That would presume that you are either a Chinese sports fans with a fervent desire to see a game live on your home soil or an NFL enthusiast who cannot wait to see the game you love plant its flag on international soil. Either way, you will be disappointed to learn that the game won’t be happening in 2018. It isn’t like the latest NFL odds for the 2018 season will be affected.
But you are entitled to a little bit of grief if the prospect of an NFL game in China in 2018 had you jumping through the roof. More importantly, you won’t have to wait that much longer to see the first ever NFL game in China. The game hasn’t been canceled, merely postponed to 2019.
And the decision isn’t even that terrible because it will see the NFL celebrate their 100th anniversary on Chinese Soil. The plan to schedule a game in China for the 2018 season has been in the works for quite a while. However, unexpected complications made the proposed 2018 date impossible, primarily because all the other international games the NFL has scheduled for 2018 will elicit a bit of a logistical issue.
Kicking off their centennial season in China will send an even bigger message to opponents of the NFL’s international Push. Mark Waller, the NFL Vice President of International is more determined than ever to make a splash in China and he doesn’t think the postponement will make much of a difference.
When you take into account the NFL’s decision to expand its 2017 London games to four, this along with adding another game in Mexico City on the board, the decision Waller and his fellow executives took makes all the sense in the world.
The Los Angeles Rams are still set to play the first NFL game in China. In fact, they have been assigned the task of serving as the home team, though for now, they are probably more excited about moving into their new Inglewood, California Stadium.
The New England Patriots might also join them if all goes according to plan. Tom Brady is definitely passionate about the idea. The quarterback visited China recently and he was heard saying that playing an NFL game in the country would be a dream come true for him.
Brady remembers the opportunity his side had to play in China. That was several years back and things did not really work out. But Brady isn’t merely hoping to play the Centennial game in China. He wants to lead the NFL towards an era where several games are played in that part of the world.
As far as he is concerned, football would only stand to benefit in the long run. England and China are definitely crucial players in the NFL’s international plans. Brady is probably right to worry about the China prospect. After all, the NFL has attempted to schedule games in China on previous occasions and those plans did not work out.
The 2007 game was canceled because the NFL decided that London would make a better international host. The League sought to set up a base in China in 2009 but the global recession ruined further progress.