How the NFL Has Changed Since Its Inception

The National Football League has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1920. What started as a small, regional league has grown into a global juggernaut, with fans all over the world tuning in to watch the best football players in the world battle on the gridiron. But how exactly has the NFL changed since its inception? Let’s take a look.

More Teams, More Games

One of the biggest changes to the NFL over the years has been the addition of new teams and games. When the league was founded in 1920, there were just 11 teams, but only two founding members are still in the league today.  The Green Bay Packers, founded in 1919, joined the league in 1921. 

Today, there are 32 teams spread out across the United States, with plans to add a 33rd team in Los Angeles shortly. In addition to more teams, there are also more games. Whereas each team used to play just 10 regular season games per year, they now play 16. And of course, there are also now more postseason games, with each conference sending six teams to the playoffs instead of four.

Bigger and Better Stadiums

Another change that’s occurred over the years is that NFL stadiums have gotten bigger and better. The average NFL stadium today holds nearly 70,000 fans, which is almost double the capacity of the average stadium back in 1960. In addition to being bigger, today’s stadiums are also packed with more amenities and creature comforts than ever before. From gourmet food options to luxurious suites to massive HD video boards, today’s stadiums offer fans a truly first-class experience.

More Money Than Ever Before

Perhaps the most significant change of all is that the NFL is now a multi-billion dollar industry that generates billions of dollars in revenue each year. In 1960, the average player’s salary was just $6,000 per year. Today, it’s not uncommon for players to sign contracts worth $100 million or more. In addition to player salaries, the league also generates billions of dollars in revenue from television rights fees, sponsorship deals, and merchandise sales. All of this money has allowed the NFL to become not just America’s favorite sport, but also one of America’s most powerful and profitable businesses.

New Technologies & Broadcast Options Impacting the Game 

Since its inception in 1920, the NFL has utilized various platforms to share games with fans. From radio broadcasts in the 1920s and 30s to now televising games on various cable providers and streaming services, fans can enjoy NFL football from almost any device. Additionally, the introduction of high-definition televisions and 4K videos have drastically improved viewers’ viewing experience. Moreover, the recent rise in popularity of fantasy football leagues has provided a whole new level of engagement for fans old and new alike.

Strategies for Winning Have Evolved Through the Years

Since the inception of the NFL, strategies for winning have certainly come a long way. What used to be run-heavy playbooks are now transformed into aerial attacks and highly efficient schemes tailored to matchups. Even the quarterback position has become increasingly complex, as signal callers’ ability to read defenses has emerged as one of the most important components for success. As quarterbacks look deep into their playbook, coaches continuously add new wrinkles to keep opponents guessing. Add in the never-ending technological advances used by coaches and front offices, and it’s clear that the NFL is a constantly evolving field with seemingly no limitations on innovation.


The NFL has come a long way since its inception back in 1920. From adding new teams and games to building bigger and better stadiums to generating billions of dollars in revenue each year, the league has undergone tremendous growth and change over the past century. And if history is any indication, there’s no reason to think that this trend will stop anytime soon. So sit back, relax, and enjoy America’s favorite pastime—the National Football League!

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