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How American football is taking over Frankfurt

Rachel Loxton
Rachel Loxton - [email protected]
How American football is taking over Frankfurt
Oliver and his two sons Jan and Noah with an oversized Kansas City Chiefs helmet on the fan mile in Frankfurt on November 5th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Andreas Arnold

Frankfurt is hosting two NFL games this year. With the second about to take place on Sunday, we talk about how excitement is building.

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The Hessian city of Frankfurt is known for its impressive skyline, Grüne Soße (Green Sauce) and Apfelwein.

But right now it's also a place where thousands of people are flocking to for American football. 

That's because the National Football League (NFL) is back in Germany - and two games are being played in Frankfurt.

Last Sunday the Kansas City Chiefs won 21-14 against the Miami Dolphins in front of a sold-out Deutsche Bank Park. 

And this Sunday, on November 12th, the six-time Super Bowl champions, New England Patriots, take on the Indianapolis Colts.

READ ALSO: 'A megacity on a smaller scale': An insiders' guide to Frankfurt

It comes after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced the Seattle Seahawks at Munich's Allianz Arena in November 2022 as the NFL outlined Germany as a major growth market. 

The reception to the games has been huge. 

The Kansas City Chiefs take on the Miami Dolphins in Frankfurt.

The Kansas City Chiefs take on the Miami Dolphins in Frankfurt. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Arne Dedert

More than three million people tried to snag tickets to the Frankfurt matches that each offer about 50,000 seats.

Dr Alexander Steinforth, general manager of the NFL in Germany, told The Local that there was "a lot of excitement from those guests that travelled over from the States".

"But even more so - or at least to the same degree - there's a lot of excitement from the fans in Frankfurt and the German public overall."

He added: "Everyone has been looking forward to those two games this year in Frankfurt. The Patriots are one of the most popular teams over here in Germany. Everyone is really looking forward to Sunday." 

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Those who didn't get a ticket can still soak up the atmosphere in Frankfurt. 

The NFL is hosting the “NFL Experience Frankfurt” in the city centre until Saturday (November 11th), including a mini football field for people to play on.

Pats fans can also visit the “Patriot Haus” (Hilton Frankfurt City Center, Hochstraße 4). The six Super Bowl trophies are on display there, and former Patriots players, including Sebastian Vollmer, are greeting guests.

READ ALSO: Where do the majority of foreigners live in Frankfurt?

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A spokesman for the Indianapolis Colts told The Local they were looking forward to bringing the game "to new fans across the world".

"The people of Frankfurt have been so helpful and welcoming, and we look forward to sharing our great sport with them on Sunday and engaging with our fans all weekend," he said. 

'Opportunity for business'

Chris Gahl, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Visit Indy, arrived this week from Indianapolis to see his beloved Colts play on German soil. 

But Gahl told The Local that the event also strengthens ties with German tourists and businesses. 

"From a tourism perspective, Germany is a top three international market for Indy, tied to the city hosting trade shows, major sporting events like the Indy 500, and corporations like Eli Lilly, Salesforce, Elanco, Rolls Royce, and Cummins drawing-in business travellers," he said. 

"Our research shows our NFL and NBA teams also help attract visitors. We’ve partnered with the Colts in other markets, like London, to activate while the Colts are playing to draw awareness to Indy as a tourism destination."

Gahl added that the game in Frankfurt "gives us an opportunity to connect with German-based meeting decision makers".

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