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NFL owners approve 17-game regular season for 2021
AP

NFL owners approve 17-game regular season for 2021

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell looks on before Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49 ers at Hard Rock Stadium on Feb. 2, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell looks on before Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium on Feb. 2, 2020 in Miami, Florida. Goodell said health-care workers will be invited to attend Super Bowl 55, played on Feb. 7, 2020. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/TNS)

It’s official: The NFL has expanded its regular season to 17 games.

The league’s owners approved the one-game increase on the first day of their virtual meetings on Tuesday, reducing the preseason from four games to three, as well.

The 17th game will pit teams from opposing conferences against each other based on their finish in the division the previous season, with the AFC hosting in 2021.

The Giants, therefore, will visit the Miami Dolphins as the second-place finishers in the NFC East and AFC East, respectively.

“This is a monumental moment in NFL history,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “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.”

The collective bargaining agreement struck in March 2020 allowed the league and the players’ union to add a 17th game to the regular season beginning in 2021. Tuesday marked the official vote to make that happen.

The league’s expanded schedule also ensures that beginning in 2022, all 32 franchises will play an international game at least once every eight years.

The scheduling of up to four neutral-site games per year outside the United States will focus initially on Canada, Europe, Mexico, South America and the United Kingdom.

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