NFL aiming to potentially play game in China in 2019

If Tom Brady is going to make his desire to play a football game in China a reality, he'll need to hang around at least a few more years.

Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal reported Thursday that the NFL is now targeting 2019 to play a game in China, pushing back previous plans to stage a game in 2018.

NFL Executive Vice President/International Mark Waller told Kaplan the league could consider kicking off the 2019 season -- its 100th anniversary -- in China.

"It may make better sense to look at that game as an opportunity to celebrate our hundred years, in the event we can pull it off and as a way to look forward to the future," Waller said.

Pushing back plans to play in China a year comes on the heels of the Los Angeles Rams' announcement of the postponement of their new stadium from 2019 to 2020. The year delay gives the NFL extra breathing room to stage a game in China with the Rams as the home team.

An additional year of planning could be beneficial given the difficulty the NFL has had in the past playing a game in China. Brady's Patriots were scheduled to play in China in 2007, but the game was canceled. The league also scrapped preseason plans to play in China in 2009.

With all the hurdles to clear to play in China -- not to mention handling four games in London and one in Mexico -- the NFL will take all the time it can before blitzing a newpotential market.

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