When the NFL announced Green Bay Packers.next season, there was one noticeable absence: the
Heading into the 2019 season, the Packers were one of just three NFL teams — along with Houston and Carolina — that had never played in London. However, with the Texans and Panthers both scheduled to play in London next season, the Packers are now the NFL‘s only remaining team that will have never played in England by the end of the 2019 season, and Aaron Rodgers would like to see that change.
During an interview with NFL UK the day before the Super Bowl, Rodgers made it pretty clear that he’d like to see the Packers play in England sometime before he retires. The Packers quarterback also pointed out that he’s not the only one who has been pushing for it — so has team president Mark Murphy.
“I know I’ve made my feelings known about wanting to go over there,” Rodgers said. “Our president has made it known.”
On Murphy’s end, he was asked about the team’s chances of playing in London back in April and he said that he would like to see it happen by the 2020 season at the latest. The problem for the Packers is that if they’re going to play in London in 2020, that would mean that someone would have to give up a home game, and Rodgers has a hard time seeing that happen.
“We travel too well. Nobody wants to give up a home game with the Packers because they know it’s going to be a full house,” Rodgers said. “We’re not going to give up a home game, because we’re sold out for the next 30 years and nobody wants to give up a home game when we come to town.”
Since teams won’t voluntarily give up a home game against the Packers, Rodgers would like to see the NFL step in.
“Hopefully, at some point, the league will intervene and make us go there because we all want to go there,’ Rodgers said.
If the Packers do get scheduled for a London game, Rodgers would like to spend the entire week in England, as opposed to just a few days.
“The atmosphere is great, but I think the consensus is to be over there for the whole week,” Rodgers said. “The guys that went over Thursday and Friday said it’s tough for the time change, they’re a little tired, and plus, you don’t get to do anything. Our week is not that bad schedule-wise, other than Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, so if you get over there on like, a Monday, you’ll be able to go around the city. Maybe there’s a Premier League game we could watch, just to be able to kind of enjoy the environment.”
Rodgers is very aware of the Packers’ international popularity, and that’s partly because his girlfriend, Danica Patrick, actually just spent some time at a Packers bar in Paris.
“There’s so many great fans over there. There’s Packers bars in all these countries,” Rodgers said. “There’s one in Paris. Danica went to the one in Paris. It’s incredible. The reach of the NFL has become so great.”
The Packers already know seven of their eight home opponents for 2020 — Bears, Vikings, Lions, Saints, Buccaneers, Colts, Texans (plus a TBD NFC West team) — which means if the NFL were to intervene, the league would have to force one of those teams to give up a home game so they could “host” the Packers in London.
The Bucs might end up being the safest bet here, and that’s because the league is allowed to move one of their home games in 2020 to London. As noted by Murphy, if your city is hosting the Super Bowl, then the NFL can forced you to play a game overseas and Tampa will be hosting the Super Bowl during the 2020 season.