Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes confirmed negotiations are taking place for a possible regular season game in Mexico, ESPN Deportes reported Saturday night.
In the article, Rootes expressed his interest for the Houston Texans to play a game in Mexico City. The out-of-country game would most likely be the featured Monday night game on November 21 against the Oakland Raiders.
For Rootes, a Houston Texans game in Mexico is expected — if not next season, it’s at least for some time in the future.
“We have to go play in Mexico. We have a large base of Mexican fans. Many of them cross the border, come out here to see us play ever week. It’s a necessity for them.”
Similar rumors about the game are coming out of the Oakland Raiders camp as well, Fansided reported earlier this week. According to the article, Raiders’ insider Vic Tafur has already inquired about the possibility of playing in Mexico for the upcoming season. Tafur tweeted the NFL’s official response to his inquiry.
“While discussions are ongoing, no decision on playing a game in Mexico in 2016 has been made.”
Tafur later added that despite not having a deal in place, he believed the Raiders would be hosting a contest in Mexico next season. “I think it’s going to happen though… Shh… #Arriba,” Vic tweeted.
Tafur’s reasoning for the game’s likelihood revolved around the Oakland Raiders’ immense fan support in Mexico. “That connection to the Mexican fanbase could make it a good fit for the Raiders to play a game down south, as it would surely be a hit to sent [sic] the team to play an international game in 2016,” the article explained.
The Houston Texans finished the 2015 season with a 9-7 record for the second year in a row. This season, however, the record was good enough to secure a post-season berth into the NFL Playoffs.
Despite earning the AFC South Division title and a home football game, the Houston Texans were overwhelmed in their Wild Card 30-0 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Saturday.
After the game, questions about about why Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien kept Brian Hoyer in the game emerged, ESPN reported. Hoyer played every snap of the contest despite throwing four interceptions and finishing with a passer rating of 1.7, one of the three lowest figures in the last 10 years.
If the Oakland Raiders are the opponent for the Houston Texans game in Mexico, Oakland will serve as the official host, despite the two teams’ proximity to the location. The 2016 schedule — which has not been finalized by the league — already has listed each team’s home and away contests.
The Houston Texans will host all AFC South teams as well as Kansas City, San Diego, Chicago, Detroit, and Cincinnati next season, according to FB Schedules. Road contests for the Houston Texans include the AFC South rivals and Denver, Oakland, Green Bay, Minnesota, and New England.
Since 2007, the NFL has played at least one game outside of the United States every season, although Mexico has never hosted any of the contests. London has been the exclusive home to the NFL International Series, with Oakland having served as host of a regular-season game in 2014. Thus far, the Houston Texans have never played a regular-season contest abroad.
— Luis Fridman (@luisfridman26) January 4, 2016
The first international NFL regular season contest was played in Mexico City, however. In 2005, the San Francisco 49ers played the Arizona Cardinals in Mexico City, drawing a then-NFL record 103,467 crowd to watch the game.
The announcement about the possible Mexico game for the Houston Texans could come as soon as the week of the Super Bowl. The hold-up in making the announcement is due to a few missing details necessary for the Houston Texans front office.
What do you think about the Houston Texans playing a game in Mexico during the 2016 season? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
[Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images]