After some revival to the idea it could happen, the Detroit Lions indeed won’t be playing a game in Germany during the 2023 season.
It had seemed to be trending toward happening, until a report from a Chicago-based radio host squashed it. Then, however briefly earlier this week, it was revived. But finally and officially, the Detroit Lions will not be playing the Kansas City Chiefs in Germany during the 2023 season.
Instead, the Miami Dolphins will play the Chiefs in Frankfurt.
The Lions have not played an international game since 2015, a 45-10 loss to the Chiefs, with one scheduled for 2020 eliminated by the pandemic. They are overdue to make a trip overseas, as team president Rod Wood acknowledged at the owner’s meetings.
A new rule starting in 2022 makes it that every NFL team must give up a home game for an international game every 10 years, with the expansion to 17 games and each conference alternating having nine home games in a season. With the expansion of the overseas schedule to include games in Germany now, it seems unlikely many teams will wait that long.
Detroit Lions now virtually locked in to playing overseas in 2024
Via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Wood was sort of hoping for an overseas game this year, so the Lions didn’t have to give up a home game to host an international game for awhile.
"Selfishly, I’d rather not give up a home game while we’re kind of on this upward trajectory,” Wood said. “Every 10 years you have to give up one of your nine, so I’m hoping that doesn’t happen in (2024). I would rather have it be ’26 or later. If playing internationally this year buys us a year off that, that’d be OK.”"
Instead, the Lions will make their first trip to Arrowhead Stadium since 2003. And in 2024 now, they’re all but certain to cede a game at Ford Field to be the “home team” for a game overseas.