49ers to face Cardinals in Mexico City during 2022 season


The 49ers are heading to Mexico City this season for the first time since playing the NFL’s first regular-season international game in 2005.

The 49ers will play the Arizona Cardinals on Monday, Nov. 21, at Estadio Azteca, the NFL announced on Wednesday. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. (PT).

The Cardinals are the designated home team of the NFC West matchup.

That means the 49ers’ 17-game schedule this season will consist of nine home games at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, seven true road games and the neutral site matchup in the capital city of Mexico.

The 49ers could consider spending the week leading up to the game practicing and training at the Air Force Academy. One team in each of the past three Mexico City games spent time in Colorado Springs, Colo., in order to get acclimated to the high elevation before traveling to the game.

One of the Cardinals’ top players, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, was suspended six games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Hopkins will be eligible to play against the 49ers in Mexico City. The date for the teams’ other head-to-head matchup in Santa Clara is not known.

The complete week-by-week NFL schedule is scheduled to be announced on Thursday, May 12.

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The 49ers and Cardinals played the NFL’s first regular-season game outside the United States on Oct. 2, 2005. 

The game drew a then-record crowd of 103,467 and featured rookie quarterback Alex Smith making his NFL debut. Smith, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft that year, replaced 49ers starting quarterback Tim Rattay in the fourth quarter of the team’s 31-14 loss.

The 49ers scored two defensive touchdowns in the first seven minutes of the game and never scored again.

The Cardinals have won eight of the previous 11 head-to-head meetings against the 49ers, including both games last season.

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