Usually, Denver boasts about having its mile-high stadium, but because of the NFL’s international series, two teams will be playing in a stadium where no one is accustomed to the high elevation.
The San Francisco 49ers will take on the Arizona Cardinals on Monday, November 21, in Mexico City.
Estadio Azteca sits at an altitude of 2,200 meters or about 7,218 feet.
Compared to Denver’s Empower Field at Mile High, Estadio Azteca is 1,938 feet higher.
And even though the 49ers played in Denver earlier this season, neither the 49ers, the Cardinals, or even the Broncos would be prepared for that nearly 2,000 feet gain.
Punters and kickers will have a field day with how far the ball will be able to fly in Mexico City, but officials worry the thinner air could also affect players.
As altitude increases, the amount of gas molecules in the air decreases, making there less oxygen and pressure.
Medical professionals say people who are not accustomed to high altitudes can see increased exhaustion because of the body’s inability to transport oxygen.
Four NFL games have been previously played in Mexico City in 2005, 2016, 2017 and 2019. In 2018, the Kansas City Chiefs were set to take on the Rams in Mexico City, but the game was relocated six days before to Los Angeles due to poor field conditions at Estadio Azteca.
Teams have previously used Air Force Academy’s field in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as a training center in preparation for the high elevation. Falcon Stadium’s elevation is 6,621 feet above sea level – just 600 feet shy of Estadio Azteca.
The November 21 game in Mexico City starts at 7:15 p.m. CT.