The National Football League is adding a 17th game to its regular season beginning in 2021 and reducing its preseason from four to three games, the league announced Tuesday.
Each team will play a fifth game against an opponent from the opposite conference, based on division standings from the prior season. The Rams will play the Baltimore Ravens this season, while the Chargers will play the Minnesota Vikings.
The conferences will rotate hosting the games each year, with the AFC hosting this season’s games. That means the Rams will travel to Baltimore, while the Chargers will host the Vikings.
“Who’s ready for 17 regular season games?! We’re headed to Baltimore in 2021!” the Rams tweeted.
The Chargers also acknowledged the change, tweeting: “17 games = another one at @SoFiStadium. join us.”
The exact dates for the added games will be announced later. The change was approved Tuesday at the league’s annual meeting, which is being held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league also announced that all 32 teams will play in at least one international game once every eight years.
“This is a monumental moment in NFL history,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “The CBA with the players and the recently completed media agreements provide the foundation for us to enhance the quality of the NFL experience for our fans. And one of the benefits of each team playing 17 regular-season games is the ability for us to continue to grow our game around the world.”
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