Brazil’s Sports Betting Push Draws Attention From the NFL

Posted on: October 2, 2023, 06:47h. 

Last updated on: October 2, 2023, 01:09h.

Brazil is in the process of creating a legal and regulated sports betting industry, despite opposition by more than a few well-placed individuals. There’s little doubt that it will succeed, and the effort may have caught the attention of the NFL.

The NFL logo on a football field
The NFL logo on a football field. The league’s expansion plans could include Brazil and Spain. (Image: CBS Sports)

The ultimate aspiration of the NFL lies in taking American football global. Despite having implemented strict penalties for players involved in betting, the league and its teams are contemplating the prospect of introducing the sport to other regions as part of their expansion plans.

Mexico is already a regular destination for the NFL because of football’s popularity in the country. However, the league has taken a break from scheduling games there for the next few years. Mexico, along with the U.S. and Canada, will host the 2026 World Cup, and the preparations have prevented the NFL from finding a decent field to play on.

Across the pond, the UK has also been a regular overseas fixture for NFL games. It’s already getting some company through Germany, and Spain may be next.

Expanding The Playing Field

The NBA and MLB already enjoy a significant global following, maintaining long-standing athletic partnerships on various continents. The NFL is now playing catch-up, but it’s getting there.

Given its vast geographical expanse, South America emerges as a promising option for the NFL. There are unlimited possibilities, but many cities in Brazil are now under consideration as potential hosts for live NFL games, according to ESPN.

Among them, of course, are Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, two of the largest cities in Brazil. They’re also the homes of the country’s two primary international airports.

There’s a lot of interest in the NFL. I mean, we saw it. We did a Super Bowl viewing party last year down in Brazil, and it was packed and the energy is there,” NFL executive VP Peter O’Reilly told ESPN.

Furthermore, the league sees a lot of potential in Spain. Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, the field Real Madrid calls home, and Atletico Madrid’s Metropolitano Stadium are reportedly two options.

The expansion could happen sooner rather than later, too. The NFL brass, following its recent fact-finding trips to the countries, is considering putting teams on the ground in Brazil and Spain as soon as next year.

Global Ambitions

The league is striving to enhance its global reputation, which compelled it to incorporate an additional 17 matches into its timetable. The objective at hand is twofold: streamlining international trips and bolstering advertising earnings.

As part of this venture, the NFL has organized three games in London this season. This is in addition to the two it put on the schedule for Germany.

This Sunday witnessed the inaugural clash of the season at Wembley Stadium, where the Jacksonville Jaguars faced and beat the Atlanta Falcons. The Jags have been to London 10 times, and there have been unconfirmed rumors that the team may relocate permanently to the city.

Jacksonville will stay in London for its second game as they get ready for another game. They face the Buffalo Bills at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in Week 5 as +180 underdogs.

The Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans will then meet at Tottenham on October 15. Shortly after, in Week 9, the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins will do battle at Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt, Germany.

The New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts will wrap up the NFL’s international leg a week later, also meeting at Deutsche Bank Park. Being an NFL fan in Europe can be problematic because of the difference in time zones, but the league could be finally ready to fix the issue.