AFC Championship Game at a Neutral Site?

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes looks to throw during the first half of an NFL football game against AFC foe Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

With the wild Damar Hamlin situation, there have been questions about the one seed and who is hosting in the playoffs.  The NFL may go to a neutral site for the AFC championship game, and that could change the future of the AFC and NFC title game.

AFC neutral site game?

The NFL has approved a plan, and there are a few scenarios where we could see a neutral site be used. These include:

• If Buffalo (12-3) and Kansas City (13-3) both win or tie, a Bills-Chiefs championship game would be at a neutral site.

• Or, if Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Baltimore wins or ties, a Bills-Chiefs championship game would be at a neutral site.

• If Buffalo and Kansas City both lose and Cincinnati (11-4) wins, a Bills or Bengals vs. Chiefs championship game would be at a neutral site.

This also affects Bengals vs Ravens. If the Ravens win Sunday over the Bengals and are matched against Cincinnati in an AFC wild-card game, the site would be determined by a coin flip. This was an unprecedented time for the NFL, and the NFL did a pretty good job of handling the situation at hand. Also it seems Damar Hamlin is doing better as well, and that is the important part of all of this 

Future of the neutral site?

While it has yet to even be used, a neutral site could be the future of the NFL. We see this in College for the national championship, and they get big numbers. The 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship in Indianapolis generated total sales of $156 million or so. That doesn’t even include travel, hotels being filled, and so on. Even with the WWE for WrestleMania, they host a three day event and make huge numbers in money. IF a neutral site comes into play for the AFC, it could be a change of the future.

 Seeing the money the Super Bowl makes, making a convention out of the AFC or NFC title games for a week in a neutral site city could be big numbers. This would negatively affect the top seeds home advantage however, and they will lose a home game. The NFL would have a huge decision on their hands to make. But, there is a world where we could see this soon. With the NFL only getting bigger viewership numbers and adding changes to the game, a neutral site title game before the Superbowl could be in the near future. It will be interesting as well to see if we do get a neutral site game this year, how that not only affects the future, but how does that affect teams and how they build their stadiums?

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