Since 2007, the NFL has been scheduling regular season games outside of the United States. Most of them have been in London, but more recently, some have been in Mexico City, too — including last year’s scheduled game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams in Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca, which was moved to Los Angeles at the last minute when it developed that the stadium’s field wouldn’t be ready for the game.
In 2019, five international NFL games will be played: four in London, and one in Mexico City. One of them will feature the Chiefs: as we told you in January, the Chiefs will play the Los Angeles Chargers in Mexico City. Like last season’s game against the Rams, the Chiefs will be designated as the away team for that game, so they won’t have to give up a home game in order to play out of the country — as they did when they played the Detroit Lions in London during the 2015 season.
But as league meetings continue in Phoenix this week, the Oakland Raiders are said to be considering playing a preseason game in Canada — at least according to a report from NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.
One topic that is being kicked around here in AZ: The #Raiders are mulling playing a preseason game in Canada, I’m told. Possibly in Saskatchewan. Potentially, the #Rams in Hawaii, #Raiders in Canada.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 26, 2019
While a game in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan might conceivably draw some Raiders fans because of its proximity to the West Coast of the United States, this is still a bit of a head-scratcher. The Raiders — after a long, tortuous (and entirely unnecessary) process — have finally found a home for their 2019 games. So why schedule a preseason game out of the country — even if it’s at least on the same continent?
Maybe the Raiders were inspired by last week’s announcement of a Rams preseason game in Hawaii against the Dallas Cowboys.
Tickets for the Rams-Cowboys game in Hawaii sold out in an hour over the weekend, and are now priced above $3500 on the secondary market.
With no offense intended to our Canadian friends, it’s just hard to imagine that kind of a market in Saskatchewan. But we can always be surprised.