The NFL officially approved an expansion of its regular season from 16 to 17 games.
What will change as a result of the NFL’s first seasonal expansion in 43 years? A lot. For starters, more games means more money for the NFL.
A 17-game season has long been seen as a key plank in commissioner Roger Goodell’s blueprint of generating $27 billion in annual revenue by 2025. The league’s TV partners had already been operating with the understanding that there would be an extra game in 2021.
Here are some intriguing changes:
- Squeezing in an extra game will push back Super Bowl 56 by one week to Feb. 13, 2022.
- Beginning next year, the league has mandated that all 32 clubs will have to play games at international sites at least once every eight years.
- The 2021 regular season kicks off Thursday, Sept. 9 and ends Sunday, Jan. 9.
Some players strongly oppose a 17th game, but the NFL Players Association had already ratified the proposal as part of a new collective bargaining agreement in 2020.