NFL considering playing 2019 season opener in China

by
Joe Chan / REUTERS

The first game of each regular season has grown into one of the NFL's marquee events. Looking ahead to 2019 and the 100th anniversary of the league, the NFL may hold its season opener in China, according to Daniel Kaplan of the SportsBusiness Journal.

It was reported in December that the NFL was considering holding a 2018 regular-season game in China. Those plans have been postponed in favor of the 2019 opener, Kaplan reports.

"It may make better sense to look at that game as an opportunity to celebrate our 100 years, in the event we can pull it off and as a way to look forward to the future," said Mark Waller, the NFL's executive vice president of international.

The Los Angeles Rams are currently slated to be the home team for a game in China.

The NFL has previously held exhibition games in Sweden, Australia, Ireland, Germany, Spain, and Japan. Regular-season games have been played in London, Toronto, and Mexico City, but the league has yet to reach China. Plans for an exhibition game in Beijing in 2007 were cancelled in order to concentrate league efforts on London.