Arizona Cardinals have an opportunity to expand their fan base

(Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

After two major relocations in franchise history, you would think the Arizona Cardinals would have fans all over the place.

But, that’s not the case. The Arizona Cardinals are playing in Phoenix because the Bears won the popularity contest in Chicago while stadium issues and the team serving as the NFL’s punching bag during their days in St. Louis caused fan support to dwindle.

Fortunately, the Cardinals have played better since moving to Phoenix in 1988, ending a playoff drought and nearly winning the Super Bowl in recent seasons.

Now, the Cardinals will play a home game at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico during the 2022 season, allowing them to tap into the NFL fan base in North America’s most populous city. If the Cardinals can enter the game as contenders, they can use Mexico City as leverage into building one of the NFL’s largest fanbases.

Arizona Cardinals should consider playing an annual game in Mexico

American football is gaining in popularity all over the planet, and it’s why the NFL continually schedules games in countries like England, Mexico, and now, Germany, another American football hotbed.

Of course, the NFL dreams of expanding its league internationally either through expansion or relocation. While this isn’t plausible given time zone differences – especially for a vast minority of teams located over in Europe should a situation occur, there is a sound alternative.

And the Cardinals, along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who play annually in London, England, can lead it. It’s no secret the London fan base has taken to the Jaguars, despite the team’s persistent losing. And with Mexico City just south of the U.S. border, Arizona can follow suit, especially since they can at least spend half a season winning games.

If fans in Mexico City take to the Cardinals as those in London did the Jaguars, we can realistically see the NFL expanding nominally global, such as tying each of the league’s 32 teams to an international city. The Arizona Cardinals of Mexico City, the Jacksonville Jaguars of London, the Pittsburgh Steelers of Dublin, you get the gist of it.

What if each team played one home game abroad and built a fan base in their respective international city? It would keep logistics sound, with NFL teams remaining in the Continental U.S., and it would give international fans a reason to see their team play if they’re making an annual trip overseas. Or in the Cardinals case, just south of the border.

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And with Mexico City serving as a potential annual home for Arizona, they will have one of the world’s largest cities at their disposal. That will serve the Cardinals well for years to come.