The Raiders have given up a home game for the third time in four seasons, and they’re sending a prime matchup south of the border for the second straight year.
A 2016 Monday Night Football game was played in Mexico City. Next season, the Raiders exported their best home match up.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a Tuesday press conference that the Raiders will play the Patriots at Estadio Azteca next season at an undetermined date.
“We had a great experience last year,” Goodell said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better reception from our fans in Mexico. We always envisioned that it would be more than a one-year commitment.”
While last year’s Mexico City contest between the Raiders and Houston Texans was played on a Monday, Goodell said the league is leaning toward the game being played on a Sunday.
The Patriots are the crown jewel of the Raiders’ 2017 home slate, and giving that game to Mexico City is a disappointing, yet expected turn for Oakland Raiders fans hoping to welcome Tom Brady to the Black Hole.
The Raiders have been open to playing away from Oakland in recent seasons, which should remain common as the team looks to relocate away from their home market.
The Patriots have been perennial Super Bowl contenders over the last decade-plus, and the Raiders expected to improve on 2016’s 12-4 mark, meaning that game looks like a great matchup.
Owner Mark Davis is excited about returning to Mexico City. It’s Raiders stronghold that provided a home-game atmosphere for his team in 2016, even against the neighboring Texans.
“The Raiders are excited to return to Estadio Azteca and represent the National Football League once again on an international stage,” Raiders owner Mark Davis. “We enjoyed tremendous support from the Raider Nation in Mexico in 2016 and look forward to experiencing that great passion again this year.”
The NFL said tickets for this game will go on sale this summer. It sold out quickly last year.