Throughout the 2023 offseason, reports surfaced that the Chicago Bears would play a game overseas. Several stories pegged them as the Kansas City Chiefs’ opponent for a game in Germany. There are a multitude of reasons (including the Chiefs lobbying to play the game at Arrowhead Stadium) why it didn’t happen. But it doesn’t mean they can’t be in the running for a Europe trip in 2024.
Long-time NFL reporter Peter King’s Football Morning in America column has nuggets about the NFL playing more games overseas — including featuring the Bears as a home team in Spain (bold emphasis mine):
Gut feeling about the future. Spain and Brazil in the next two years, Paris in 2025 or beyond, and Dublin at some point soon. The Steelers would like to play a designated home game there at some point soon and would likely have nine home games in 2025 and 2027. Significant rumors here about Spain being the game site for 2024, likely with the Bears as home team. But stadia in Brazil—after the World Cup and the Olympics in the country in the past seven years—are a bit better, and that could be a factor as well.
We’ve heard about so many different suburbs making pitches to be the future home for Chicago Bears football. But a game in Spain isn’t something I had on my radar. As someone who wants to use their passport more moving forward, I find this intriguing.
(Side note: As someone who jokes about this team being so bad this year that it deserves to be sent away, I find it funny that it could very well happen. And as soon as the 2024 season. OK, so it would be in a far different way than I joke about. But I digress. The mere idea of the Bears going international is fun and I’m going to allow myself to have fun with it.)
For what it’s worth, it has been a while since the NFL has sent the Bears across the pond. Perhaps the league feels that the charter franchise is due to get out of town. It hasn’t happened since 2019 when the Raiders beat a Chase Daniel-led team at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. It’ll never sit well with me that Jon Gruden out-witted Matt Nagy and held Khalil Mack at bay. But Mack got his revenge two years later. And all is well that ends well, right?
We should’ve seen a Bears trip to Spain coming…
To be clear, this isn’t etched in stone. So I wouldn’t start booking your football-fueled European vacations just yet. But it is easy to connect the dots and see how they point to Chicago playing in Europe at some point soon.
If you’ll recall, Spain and the United Kingdom were designated as the Bears’ international home markets in 2021 as part of the NFL’s international expansion initiative in 2021. In other words, yeah, it would make sense for them to be the home team in a yet-to-be-decided game in 2024. Plus, it would make sense for Chicago to play a home game overseas because the team is scheduled to play 9 home games in 2024. Moving one of those games would mean that fans and ticket-holders would still get a full allotment of home dates. This is as close to a win-win for fans, the team, and the league.