American Football Thriving in Argentina

[tps_title]American Football Thriving in Argentina[/tps_title]

[tps_header]What’s next?[/tps_header]

A question on many people’s mind is where will American football in Argentina go from here? That is a difficult question to answer. The sky is definitely the limit as Argentina has proven to be a country with much success internationally in sports such as soccer (World Cup runner-up in 2014), basketball (several players playing in the NBA), rugby (ranked in the top 10 worldwide), tennis (Juan Martin del Potro won the US Open in 2009), golf (Ángel Cabrera won the Masters in 2009), and other sports.

Also, as reported in this article by John McKeon, there is a huge NFL fan base in Argentina, over 2 million strong. However, at the current time, American football is played on a very amateur level, with many players playing just for fun or as a hobby. Also, although plans are in place for organizing football for youth and those under 18, at this moment the sport is primarily for adults over the age of 18. There is definitely a big need for more teams which will thus provide for more competition and better play.

Similar to other places, there are huge obstacles to overcome for football to continue to increase both in number of players and quality of play. Equipment, especially helmets and shoulder pads are not available to be purchased and importing them is difficult on a logistical and financial level. The cost of buying and importing a new set of helmet and shoulder pads would be equivalent to a two months salary to many Argentines. Some players are able to get equipment by traveling out of the country or having someone else bring it for them.

Other places, such as Córdoba, have relied heavily on donations of used equipment. Another big obstacle is field use. Many football teams rely on rugby clubs to rent out spaces/fields, but many rugby clubs already have a full schedule preventing other sports to use the facilities, or they charge high prices that are not feasible. A final obstacle would be the lack of coaches who have the skills, desire, and time. American football will most definitely continue to grow in Argentina, but will it continue to grow at a slow rate or will there be huge explosion in number of teams, players and skill level? Time will tell.

The author would like to thank Franco Chiesa of Rosario and Gabriel Arnijas of Mendoza for their collaboration.

Related websites:

American football in Buenos
American football in Có
American football in Rosario –
For helping football grow through donations and other services. –

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Scott Jackson is originally from Dallas, Texas and currently resides in Córdoba, Argentina. Scott is one of the founders of the league there.