NFL Christmas 2024: League set to schedule just its third Wednesday game in 75 years



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Less than four months after saying there wouldn’t be any Christmas games scheduled for 2024, the NFL has apparently changed its mind. 

CBS Sports lead NFL insider Jonathan Jones has reported that the league is planning to schedule a Christmas game in 2024, even though the holiday is falling on a Wednesday. As a matter of fact, the league will actually be scheduling a doubleheader, which means we’ll be getting two games. 

As recently as December, it looked like the NFL was going to skip Christmas in 2024. The league’s executive vice president for media distribution, Hans Schroeder, had said that playing on a Tuesday or Wednesday didn’t make much sense for the league. 

“We’re not looking to play football on a Tuesday or Wednesday at this point, especially this late in the year as we get close to the postseason,” Schroeder told The Athletic back in December. “We want to focus on the run to the playoffs and for that competitive equity to really shine through. I don’t think we’re going to look at Tuesday or Wednesday football.”

On one hand, the NFL’s decision to play a Wednesday game is somewhat surprising, if only because the league has generally avoided scheduling games for that day of the week. The Christmas game would mark just the third time in 75 years that the NFL has played a Wednesday game and just the second time in 75 years that league actually put a Wednesday game on the schedule. 

Since 1949, the only scheduled Wednesday game came in 2012 when the Giants played host to the Cowboys in Week 1 to open the season. The opening game of the year is generally played on Thursday, but the NFL moved it to Wednesday to avoid a conflict with the Democratic National Convention. 

The only other Wednesday game came in 2020 when a Ravens-Steelers matchup had to be moved to Wednesday due to COVID issues

The Wednesday doubleheader will mark the first time since 1936 that the NFL has scheduled two games on a Wednesday, according to Pro Football Reference. 

Of course, we probably shouldn’t be surprised at all that the NFL changed its mind about Christmas this year and that’s because the holiday has been a highly successful one for the league. The NFL scheduled a tripleheader in 2023 and those three games averaged 28.7 million viewers, which is an astronomical number. All three games ranked in the top 10 for the most-watched regular-season games in 2023. 

To make the Wednesday games happen, the teams that play on Christmas will play on Saturday in Week 16 (Dec. 21) and then turn around and play the Christmas game in Week 17, according to the Wall Street Journal

The NFL has been playing regular-season games on Christmas since 1989, but the league didn’t start doing it annually until 2020. This will mark the fifth straight year that the NFL has held a Christmas game. Before 2020, the NFL had never gone more than three straight years with a Christmas game. 





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