KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The NFL will move to a 17-game regular season beginning with the 2021 season.
The move, which NFL owners approved Tuesday, will reduce to number of preseason games to three each season.
As the broadcast Home of the Chiefs, those preseason games will air on 41 Action News.
It marks the first time in 43 years that the NFL has changed the format of its regular season. The league moved from a 14-game schedule to 16 regular season games in 1978.
NFL owners approved the changes on Monday during a virtual league meeting. The NFL's collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association, which was signed in March 2020, allowed the league to expand the regular season.
“This is a monumental moment in NFL history,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “The CBA with the players and the recently completed media agreements provide the foundation for us to enhance the quality of the NFL experience for our fans. And one of the benefits of each team playing 17 regular-season games is the ability for us to continue to grow our game around the world.”
The 17th game will feature teams from opposing conferences, which finished in the same place within their division the previous season. The AFC will serve as the home team for next season's added game.
For 2021, the Chiefs will host the Green Bay Packers since the AFC West will match up with the NFC North.
“Adding the Green Bay Packers to an already strong schedule of opponents will make this one of the most exciting home-game slates in recent team history,” Chiefs President Mark Donovan said in a statement from the team.
The other cross-division matchups pit the AFC South against the NFC South, the AFC North against the NFC West and the AFC East against the NFC East.
The NFL will continue to have only one bye week. The 2021 season will begin Thursday, Sept. 9, and will now end Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.
The NFL expanded the playoffs last season with the addition of a third Wild Card team, giving each conference seven playoff participants for the first time.
In addition to home and away games with the other three AFC West teams, Kansas City also hosts the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021.
The Bills and Browns games are rematches of 2021 playoff games, which the Chiefs won at Arrowhead Stadium en route to a second straight AFC championship and Super Bowl appearance.
Kansas City also plays at the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans and Washington Football Team next season.
The Chiefs will have one home preseason game and two road preseason games with home regular-season home games in 2021.
Kansas City will have nine regular-season road games in 2022 with two home preseason games under the new NFL scheduling formula to accommodate the expanded regular season.
Dates and times for the Chiefs three preseason games and 17 regular-season games in 2021 will be announced at a later time.