Today the NFL announced that the popular International Series would be returning, this time to Mexico City. For the next international game, our own Oakland Raiders will be hosting the Houston Texans at Azteca Stadium on Monday, November 21 (the Monday prior to Thanksgiving). This will be the first time a Monday Night Football game has been played outside of the United States.
The upcoming game will coincide with Azteca's 50th anniversary and will showcase Mexico's tourism and marketing opportunities. While losing a 'true' home game for the Raiders might seem like a bummer to their fans, the opportunity to play on Monday night in front of over 100,000 fans in a country where the team is already immensely popular is not an opportunity that comes around often.
Not only are the Texans and Raiders two of the most popular teams in Mexico, but viewership of NFL games amongst Hispanic households has risen by 28% in the last five years so this is a chance for the Raiders to expand their market even more and attract a lot of new fans in a place where American football is growing in participation and popularity.
Unlike the games in the UK which are usually played when most US fans are still asleep and by teams nobody cares about, this game will be played at a reasonable time and will be a highly anticipated matchup between (technically) a playoff team from Houston and a team that will be expected to compete for a playoff spot in Oakland. It figures to be a tremendous game.