Houston, Texas - In less than a week, the Texans will travel south to play the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City at Azteca Stadium. It's a relatively short flight for the first-place and reigning AFC South champions.
The NFL along with Texans owner Bob McNair and team president Jamey Rootes are hoping to grow their brand in Mexico where the most popular sport is overwhelmingly soccer.
"We're excited about that," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "I know that Mr. McNair and the NFL feel strongly about international play. It's a pretty short trip for us. We know we're going to have a lot of fans down there, which is great for our team and our organization.
"I think it'll be great to go down there and play an international game in a very, very famous stadium with a lot of tradition. I know there will be a lot of people there and we're looking forward to it."
Previously, NFL games have drawn large crowds. A Dallas Cowboys-Oilers preseason game in 1994 drew 112,376 to the Mexico City stadium. A San Francisco 49ers-Arizona Cardinals regular-season game in 2005 had a crowd of 103,467.
O'Brien didn't express concerns about the logistics of the game. The Texans have been preparing for several months for the game with team officials traveling to Mexico City to make preparations. "I would say there's challenges to every road game, you know, just because the routine is a little bit different," O'Brien said. "The challenges of going there relative to going to Jacksonville or somewhere else, other than maybe having your passport ready, it's all pretty relative."