Although the NFL schedule is not going to be released until sometime during the middle of April, several details concerning international games have already been released unofficially. A final piece to the puzzle came on Friday when ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Arizona Cardinals will be hosting the game in Mexico City in 2020.
The Arizona Cardinals will be the home team for the NFL’s game in Mexico in 2020.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 28, 2020
Since the Steelers are not scheduled to play the Cardinals in 2020, they are definitely out of the running for playing in Mexico. As for the games in London, the Steelers have all but been eliminated from contention there as well.
Assuming that the NFL will schedule four games in Great Britain like they did in 2019, the home teams for those games have already been determined. The Jacksonville Jaguars will play two home games in back-to-back throughout the season, but it was already announced that the Steelers and the Bears will not be their opponents in London. Not wanting to totally abandon their season ticket holders, keeping games with Pittsburgh an Chicago in Jacksonville will give two marque games in Jacksonville which will boost ticket prices.
The Atlanta Falcons will also be hosting a game, another team the Steelers will not face in 2020. The final team who is assumed to be hosting a London game is the Miami Dolphins. It was initially reported the Dolphins would host an international game but it was unclear if it would be in London or Mexico City. With the announcement of the Cardinals playing in Mexico, the Dolphins are believed to be the fourth and final team playing a home game across the Atlantic. Once again, the Steelers do not face the Dolphins in 2020.
Since the NFL has yet to release the schedule, the only way the Steelers would be playing an international game would be if the league surprised a fifth team who would lose a home game for the 2020 season. While not statistically impossible, it would be extremely unlikely for the NFL to add yet another game since their agreement has been to have four games played in London. Additionally, it would have to be one of the other seven road opponents the Steelers face in 2020 who was chosen to host the game. As you can see, the likelihood is so small it is almost not worth mentioning.
While it would be a great scenario for Steelers fans in either London or Mexico City, the majority of Steelers’ Nation will be content knowing their team does not have to make an extended trip which could affect their play.
It may be difficult to sell to other NFL teams the idea of playing the Steelers in an international game. With the Steelers having a 10-game lease agreement (eight regular season and two preseason) with Heinz Field, taking away a home game is not on the table for the time being. With the Steelers being a very popular team across the US as well as the world, a team would have to give up a home game to travel abroad and play what may become another away game. Although for a lot of teams, when the Steelers are on the schedule they know they will see a lot of Terrible Towels in the stands whether is be in their stadium or outside of the country.