Munich city council backs NFL games at home of Bayern

MUNICH (AP) — The Munich city council gave its backing Wednesday to a bid to host regular-season NFL games at the home of soccer club Bayern Munich.

Three German cities are vying to become the league’s partner. Munich, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf are on the NFL’s shortlist to host a regular-season game, possibly as soon as next year.

Munich city authorities said the council supported the bid to hold games from 2022-25 using the Allianz Arena, the 75,000-capacity stadium owned by six-time European champion Bayern.

Munich has another stadium, built for the 1972 Olympics, which could meet NFL capacity requirements, but the city said it can’t be used for a bid because of an upcoming renovation.

Local authorities said hosting an NFL game would have an estimated economic impact of 31.5 million euros ($35.5 million) from visitors to the city, based on data from NFL games in London, with about 550,000 euros ($620,000) in revenue predicted for the city budget. There are also plans to promote football in local schools.

The NFL is eager to expand into Germany because the country has one of the largest TV audiences for football outside the United States, and to build on the popularity of its games in London.

Brett Gosper, NFL Head of Europe and UK, said in October that the decisions on a German city and date for a game are expected to be announced at the Super Bowl in February. NFL owners must approve the choice of city.

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