The National Football League said it could have sold over 3 million tickets for the first regular season game ever in Germany between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks on Sunday proving again that Tom Brady can attract a crowd.
The Buccaneers quarterback is certainly not the only reason for the massive interest but even the NFL admits that with seven-times Super Bowl winner on Munich’s Allianz Arena field there is an added buzz.
“Perhaps the understatement of the year it adds to the excitement and buzz around this game that he’ll be on the field,” conceded Peter O’Reilly, NFL executive vice president of club business and league events during a conference call on Wednesday.
“He is clearly a worldwide superstar who not only the many rabid fans in Germany are aware of but the casual fan.
“Anybody on the street is aware of Tom Brady.”
Brady, who was back in the global spotlight last month after announcing he and supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen had ended their 13-year marriage, will look to make headlines on the field as he bids to become the only quarterback to start and win in four different countries (U.S., England, Mexico and Germany).
He also enters the contest with 373 consecutive pass attempts without an interception and can pass Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers run mark of 402 set in 2018.
While Brady is the number one attraction German fans will be treated to a marquee matchup.
The contest at Bayern Munich’s home ground will be the first international game between two division leaders with the 6-3 Seahawks sitting top the NFC West and 4-5 Tampa Bay leading the NFC South.
“I mean the chance to go across to another country, play a sport that I love, I have heard there’s 3 million ticket requests for 67,000 seats,” said Brady during an interview on SiriusXM’s Let’s Go! podcast. “So the place is going to be rocking.
“If it’s anything like what I see in those German Bundesliga games this is going to be one of the epic games that we’ve ever played in.”
The NFL has established a strong foothold in England where it played three games this season but believes the time is right to push into new markets.
When tickets went on sale there was an online queue of more than 800,000 fans said O’Reilly but despite huge crowds wherever it goes, the NFL remains on a learning curve when it comes to a potential European based franchise.
“I know we learn something every game we play about the capacity we have to play games there (Europe),” said O’Reilly.
“Should the opportunity arise everything around us makes us smarter and better regarding the possibility of potentially a franchise outside the U.S.”