The NFL on Wednesday confirmed the league will hold the first regular season game in Sao Paulo, Brazil during the 2024 season. The first-ever game for the league in South America, the game will be played a the Corinthians Arena, which serves as the home for SC Corinithians in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A soccer league and has served as a venue during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
“Bringing the NFL to new continents, countries and cities around the world is a critical element of our plan to continue to grow the game globally,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Brazil has established itself as a key market for the NFL, and we are excited to be playing in Brazil and São Paulo for the first time in 2024. We look forward to working with the city of São Paulo, SP Turis and Corinthians Arena to deliver a world-class game day experience for this passionate and growing fan base.”
The NFL will hold five international games in 2024. The game in Brazil will join three games in London, England, and one game in Munich, Germany. Teams for the international games have not been announced, though at least one of the London games will be hosted by the Jacksonville Jaguars, continuing a relationship between the Jaguars and London.
The Brazil game could be of interest for Miami Dolphins fans. The league in 2021 assigned international home marketing areas for teams, then updated the assignments in 2022. The assignments allow for teams to market, engage gans, and build commercialization efforts for the listed country. Miami assigned Spain, the United Kingdom, and Brazil. The Dolphins are the only team aligned with Brazil.
Miami played in Germany this year, serving as the visiting team against the Kansas City Chiefs in Frankfurt back in Week 9.
The Dolphins’ marketing efforts in Brazil could tie them to the first-ever game in the country. In the odd-numbered games plan for the NFL every season, conferences alternate seasons in which they have eight or nine home games. In 2024, Miami, along with the rest of the AFC, is scheduled to have eight home games, making it possible the Dolphins will play seven games in South Florida and one in Brazil if the league decides Miami is the “home” team for a game in their international market.
The NFL could still consider Miami traveling to Brazil, but have them serve as the visiting team against an NFC team to prevent Miami from only having seven home games.
The Dolphins playing in Brazil makes sense from the marketing point of view as well as in consideration of the logistics. A flight from Miami to Sao Paulo is an eight-hour trip, which would be the shortest trip for any NFL team.
Update: According to Monday Morning Quarterback’s Albert Breer, the league will have an NFC team host the game - which makes sense based on the NFC having the extra home game in 2024. But, if the Dolphins are the only team aligned with Brazil, having their colors in the stadium would seem to make sense as well. Could the NFL have an NFC team give up a home game, but have the Dolphins’ colors and logos in the stadium? Maybe then have the Dolphins pay it back at a future international game?
Breer suggests the NFC team could be the Dallas Cowboys, which would rule out Miami from the game. The Dolphins are not scheduled to play the Cowboys in 2024. Miami’s NFC opponents for next year will be the NFC West teams (the Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks) and a team from the NFC North. Miami’s road NFC games will be at the Rams, at the Seahawks, and at the NFC North team.