Just last season the Indianapolis Colts played their first ever regular season game outside of the United States, as they faced the Jaguars in London.
At the time, owner Jim Irsay said that “this isn’t our last time coming here.” Putting that statement in context, it seems like Irsay said that mainly because he thinks there will be an NFL franchise in London at some point, but it does seem like the Colts are open to returning at some point in the future.
We know the Colts won’t be playing overseas this season, but they possibly could down the road. That all leads to a very interesting development relating to the Los Angeles stadium construction, as pointed out by Daily Norseman.
This past week it was announced that the stadium being built in LA for the Rams and the Chargers is delayed, meaning that it will now open for the 2020 season instead of the 2019 season. According to Pro Football Talk, any team playing in a temporary stadium must host an international game, which means both the Rams and Chargers will now have to host an overseas game in both 2018 and 2019.
So why is that relevant to the Colts? Because in 2019 they are set to visit the Chargers. We know that the Chargers will have to host one of their eight home games internationally, so there’s a chance that could be the Colts. And of course, this is in addition to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who host a home international game each season - another team the Colts will visit in 2019.
Assuming the Jaguars keep playing internationally each year, it means that in 2019 (at least) two of the Colts’ eight road opponents will be hosting an overseas game that year, so there is a legitimate chance of Indianapolis winding up as one of the teams selected. It will be a few seasons removed from their last trip, Jim Irsay seems to be willing to return (but would likely not want to give up a home game to do so), and Andrew Luck is a big name in Europe.
So it still might not be likely that the Colts will be playing overseas in 2019, but the chances do seem to have gone up due to the LA stadium being delayed. What would you think about the Colts making a return to the international scene in the next few years?