The NFL has gone to great lengths to expand its international footprint with regular season games in foreign countries, and the Miami Dolphins reportedly could be one of the teams helping it debut in yet another new market with a game in Brazil next season.
The game would be played at Neo Química Arena next September.
ACABOU DE PASSAR NA ESPN! A NFL QUER PASSAR UM JOGO DE ABERTURA DA TEMPORADA REGULAR DO ANO QUE VEM EM SÃO PAULO!!! pic.twitter.com/x1oLCcD7WP
— Interceptados | NFL (@interceptadoos) December 5, 2023
“The NFL is analyzing the possibility of playing a regular season game in South America next season, 2024,” ESPN’s John Sutcliffe said. “And the country is Brazil, and the city is Sao Paulo. … This is what I know. The NFL would like to play it on Week 1. Just the logistics, the TV trucks, everything would be better in Week 1, so September 2024.
“And then if you take into account that the only team in Brazil that has the rights to market themselves are the Miami Dolphins. So, I expect, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Week 1, Miami playing a regular season game.”
Possible opponents for the game include AFC East rivals in the New York Jets, New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills. Based on the NFL scheduling formula, Miami also has home games against the Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans plus a team from the AFC West coming next season.
This season, the Dolphins played in Germany against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 5, the first time the NFL played in the city of Frankfurt. It was Miami’s sixth international game, with the first five played in London, including in 2021 against the Jaguars.
As Sutcliffe said, the Dolphins are the only team assigned to the market of Brazil as part of the league’s Global Markets Program. It grants teams access to “marketing, fan engagement and commercialization activations as part of an important, long-term strategic effort to enable clubs to build their brands globally while driving NFL fan growth beyond the U.S.”
Teams are able to apply for the rights to selected international markets, and the Dolphins are also one of seven teams with rights in the United Kingdom.
If all goes well for the remainder of this season, the Dolphins could be headed to Brazil as Super Bowl champions. Miami is off to a 9-3 start and currently holds the top seed in the AFC.
After a 45-15 win against the Washington Commanders this past Sunday, the Dolphins have won three in a row. They are led by MVP candidate Tyreek Hill, who is well on his way to becoming the first player in league history to post 2,000 receiving yards in a season. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa also is having an outstanding campaign.
As a winning team with legitimate star power, the Dolphins would be an attractive headliner for any high-profile NFL event — and could be the perfect choice for its first game in South America.