Packers to play Eagles in Friday night game in Brazil in Week 1

ByRob Demovsky ESPN logo
Thursday, April 11, 2024

Before the 2022 season, the Green Bay Packers were the last NFL team to play an international regular-season game.

Now, two years after playing in London, they will play a second game outside of the United States. The NFL announced Wednesday that the Packers will be the Philadelphia Eagles' opponent for the first-ever game in South America.

The game will be played in São Paulo, Brazil, on Friday, Sept. 6 -- one night after the traditional season opener involving the defending Super Bowl champions. It will be the first time since 1970 that the NFL has played a Friday night game in Week 1.

The Eagles had previously been announced as the home team for the Brazil game, which will be played at the Corinthians Arena, the home to Brazilian soccer club SC Corinthians.The arena was used at both the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Packers president Mark Murphy had recently expressed concerns about the logistics of the game for his team as it pertained to travel.

"We're very supportive of international play," Murphy said last month at the NFL annual meetings. "The one issue with Green Bay, though, is the size of our airport and the size of our runway, and we want to make sure that we're not at a competitive disadvantage in terms of how long it's gonna take us to get to Brazil.

"There's some thought that we might have to bus to Milwaukee and then fly, just some of those things."

The Packers were able to fly to London out of Green Bay-Austin Straubel International Airport, but the flight to Brazil would require a larger aircraft.

On the eve of the announcement, Murphy said he was still "not sure exactly what we'll have to do to get to Brazil," but added that the team would "gladly go" if it were chosen. Murphy said it was down to the Packers and Browns to face the Eagles in Brazil.

"I think we're either the first- or second-most popular team in Brazil," Murphy said. "As we talked about, we're kind of the people's team. People really like the idea of a community owned team, with our history and tradition.

"This is very important for the league. The Packers are very popular in Brazil. If we're chosen, we'll gladly go."

The Packers lost their only previous international game, to the New York Giants in London.

"We're looking forward to being a part of this historic matchup against the Eagles in São Paulo," Murphy said in a statement on Wednesday. "We're excited to play in front of our devoted fans in Brazil and help build upon the international popularity of the NFL and the Packers. We had a great experience playing internationally for the first time a couple of years ago and we're proud to be part of the league's continued global growth."

The NFL has previously announced that Peacock (NBCUniversal) will exclusively stream the Week 1 game in São Paulo. The game will also be available on free, over-the-air broadcast television in the local markets of the competing teams as well as on mobile devices with NFL+.

"As global growth continues to be a critical and strategic priority for the NFL and its 32 clubs, we are thrilled to have the Green Bay Packers playing against the Philadelphia Eagles in our first-ever game in South America," Gerrit Meier, managing director and head of NFL International, said in a statement. "With over 35 million passionate fans in Brazil, the Friday night 2024 regular season opener in São Paulo will bring an incredible energy -- marking a historic moment for our sport internationally."

The NFL will host five regular-season games as part of the 2024 international series. The Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars will all host games in London while the Carolina Panthers will host a game in Munich, Germany.

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