Arizona Cardinals to play 2022 game in Mexico City at Estadio Azteca
The Arizona Cardinals will play a 2022 designated neutral-site game in Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca, the NFL announced Monday.
Details, including date and opponent, will be released later.
The first teams revealed for the 2022 NFL International games! 🏈🗺️@nflmx | @NFLUK | @NFLDeutschland pic.twitter.com/PDqtga9Xit
— NFL (@NFL) February 28, 2022
With that news, the Cardinals in 2022 will host eight regular season games at State Farm Stadium, one neutral game in Mexico City and eight road outings.
The team was originally scheduled to play at Estadio Azteca as the home team for the 2020 season before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived. It was a requirement for teams hosting a Super Bowl to play an international game prior, and the Cardinals will host Super Bowl LVII in February 2023.
The Cardinals have played in Mexico City once before.
The NFL’s very first regular season game outside the United States came on Monday Night Football in Week 4 of the 2005 season. The Cardinals beat the San Francisco 49ers, 31-14, in front of 103,467 fans at Estadio Azteca.
“In 2005 when the Cardinals hosted the first NFL regular season game played outside the United States, we experienced first-hand the extraordinary support and incredible passion of our fans in Mexico,” said Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill in a statement. “We know that has increased exponentially in the years since and are thrilled to return to Mexico City and Estadio Azteca in 2022.”
In December, Arizona was granted an international home marketing area (IHMA) in Mexico following ratification by the NFL’s international committee.
The Cardinals, starting in January, have access to Mexico as an international market for “at least a five-year term, during which time a club will have rights to pursue activities in that international market that are consistent with what they can do in their domestic (home marketing area),” the team said in a press release.
Arizona is one of nine teams with a marketing footprint in Mexico.
The Cardinals franchise has played the first game outside of North America (1976 preseason in Tokyo vs. San Diego Chargers), the first in Europe (1983 preseason in London vs. Minnesota Vikings) and the first regular season game outside the United States (2005 in Mexico City vs. 49ers).