In the aftermath of this year’s game being relocated because of poor field conditions, the NFL announced Monday that it will return to Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca in 2019.
Monday’s night contest between the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs was originally scheduled to be played at Estadio Azteca (Azteca Stadium), part of the NFL International Series. It would have marked the third-consecutive year in which the NFL played a regular-season game at the venue, but those plans changed in light of concerns over field. Last week, the league announced that the game would be pulled out of Estadio Azteca because its hybrid playing surface was damaged after receiving use during a number of events, a recent Shakira concert.
The game between the Rams and Chiefs was moved to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and left Mexico City without a NFL game for the 2018 season. However, there will be a NFL Mexico City game in 2019, as the league’s intention to return to Estadio Azteca was announced Monday. More from CBS Sports:
When the NFL originally decided to play games in Mexico City, the league signed a three-year deal in 2016 that called for a game to be played at Azteca Stadium in 2016, 2017 and 2018. With the 2018 game being moved to L.A., the game in 2019 will now become the final game of that three-year deal.
The league also has another three-year deal in place that calls for games to be played at Azteca Stadium in 2019, 2020 and 2021. One thing that’s not clear is if Monday’s announcement will have any impact on that deal. The NFL could push that agreement forward one year (2020-22) or the league could simply cut the deal down to two games (2020-21).
Per a league announcement, the date and time of the game will “be determined in conjunction with the release of the NFL schedule next spring.” The 2019 contest would be the NFL’s first regular-season game in Mexico City since a 2017 matchup between the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots.
Image posted to Facebook October 28 courtesy Estadio Azteca.