The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the NFL's shining franchises. Not only do they house the most Super Bowl trophies in the NFL, but they have a global fan base which make their games must-see television. As the NFL attempts to expand their fan base beyond the United States' borders, it is no surprise they want some of their more popular teams involved in these international games.
The Steelers have been in this boat before. In 2013, Pittsburgh traveled to London to play the Minnesota Vikings, and they have gone abroad previously to help expand the NFL brand. However, the Steelers have never been asked to sacrifice a home game to do so.
So, would the Steelers actually give up a home game to play in Mexico? Team president Art Rooney II said he would like the Steelers to be one of the teams in the 3-year cycle of games to be played South of the border.
"We would like to be considered for one of those games," Rooney told a group of local reporters. "At this point, it's potentially a three-year deal with Mexico. There will be a game in Mexico for the next three years, so, like I said, we've kind of raised our hand for that one, and hopefully we'll get selected one of these years for a game in Mexico."
When two NFL teams play in a neutral site, one team has to lose a home game, and the thought of Pittsburgh having one less game at Heinz Field certainly could be a sticking point.
"That's the challenge," Rooney said. "We only have a handful of teams that don't mind giving up a home game, and they're the ones who are kind of in the mix here. That's definitely one of the challenges. It's a challenge for us.
"We would like to play in some of these games, but we're not anxious to give up a home game. Maybe some year we'll have to do it once. We have a limit where we can do it once in a while. We can ask, but we have to get permission from our landlord to do it. Even with that, it's something you're always reluctant to do. We only have eight regular season games and two preseason games, so you are always reluctant to take one out of the mix."
With 4 games to be played abroad in 2016 (3 in London and 1 in Mexico City), the NFL still wants to possibly expand their overseas games to Germany, China and even Brazil.
"If we're going to do what I think we'd like to do, and I think that's take the game to some other countries, I think we're going to need more than we have now," Rooney said. "So we're going to need maybe, let's say 6-10 (games) at some point. That's going to be a challenge, to find that many games. I think that's going to get a lot of discussion at this meeting, in terms of where we're going with that."
Time will tell how these talks go, but it seems the Steelers are more than prepared to possibly sacrifice a home game to take their brand to foreign territory.