The NFL’s club owners agreed on Tuesday evening to extend the regular season. As a result, 17 of the 16 games will be played from the upcoming season, and only three pre-season games will be played in return.
NFL players agreed to additional games as part of their 2020 collective agreement, giving the league an opportunity to extend the season as early as 2021. The previous collective agreement stated that the total number of games in the preseason and regular season would be limited to 20.
“This is a memorable moment in the history of the NFL,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a press release. “
Although the NFL Players Association approved the change last year, some players have spoken out against the planned changes in the past few weeks. The player’s salary does not change, but is paid over 18 weeks instead of 17 weeks.
Due to the odd number of games, the two NFL conferences change between eight and nine home games each year. In addition, the NFL wants to guarantee from 2022 that every team will play an international game at least every eight years. Four games with neutral venues are planned in Canada, Europe, Mexico, South America and Great Britain.
For the NFL, above all, these changes mean more revenue. Since 1978, 16 games have been played in the regular season, but some NFL owners have been pushing for expansion for more than a decade.