On Friday morning, the Arizona Cardinals officially announced that the team would play a game in Mexico City, Mexico, in 2020. Arizona played in Mexico City for the first time 15 years ago. Here is the press release from the team:
The National Football League today announced that the Arizona Cardinals would be the home team for a game at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City in 2020. Additional details, including the date and opponent, will be announced later.
This will be the Cardinal’s second all-time game in Mexico City. It comes 15 years after the Cardinals made NFL history by playing the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL’s first regular-season game held outside the United States. In 2005, the Cards earned a 31-14 win over the 49ers at Estadio Azteca in front of a then-record crowd of 103,467.
Knowing the 49ers are one of the Cardinal’s “home” games, I could see the NFL sending one of the most popular franchises in all of sports to Mexico with Arizona. In 2019 the teams were the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers. The NFL isn’t going to send two bad teams to represent the league.
Outside of the division, the Cardinals play Philadelphia, Washington, Miami, and Buffalo. Let’s go ahead and use our common sense and eliminate those teams. The Rams took a step back this past season, so it comes down to the Seahawks and the Niners. We’ll call that a coin flip, but I’d lean toward the team that just made the Super Bowl. Earlier this week, Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch were both asked about the possibility of playing in Mexico. Here is Kyle’s answer:
Three years ago, you mentioned that you were interested in playing in Mexico City, are you still interested?
”I’d love to go there, yeah. We’ll see where that goes. I’m not responsible for those things, but I’m always staying fresh on my Spanish, so I’ll be ready to go.”
Shanahan was golfing with George Kittle and ran into a couple of other 49ers earlier this month in Cabo. Here is what Lynch had to say:
I know that you were in Cabo, Mexico. Right now, there’s a new professional football team down there. Do you have a message for these guys, the first professional football team down in Cabo, and some of them are 49ers fans?
”I just got back from there. There’s a lot of Niners fans down there and real diehard. I fully support Cabo. Hopefully we can talk to our owner and set up a scrimmage there or something in the offseason. If he takes us all down there, that would be awesome.”
I’m not sure how the process goes, but it sounds like these two would be all for it. How do you feel about this? Do the 49ers lose a competitive advantage here? I live 20 minutes from the Cardinals stadium. I’ve also spoken to people that have been to these games, and they’ve said that it’s one of the coolest experiences they’ve ever had. Perhaps a better question is, would you attend the game?