NFL clubs voted on Tuesday to expand the regular season to 17 games, a move that had been expected ever since the new collective bargaining agreement was approved last spring.
This marks the first change to the regular-season structure since 1978 when the schedule went from 14 to 16 games. The 17th game will feature games against teams from opposing conferences, and this year for the Seahawks that means a game at Pittsburgh. For competitive balance reasons, one conference will host the added game each year, with AFC teams playing nine home games this season, and NFC teams getting the extra home game in 2022.
"This is a monumental moment in NFL history," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a press release. "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 new schedule also calls for the preseason to be reduced from four games to three, and whichever conference is on the road for the extra regular season game will host two preseason games, meaning, preseason included, every team will have 10 home and 10 road games each year.
Another change with a 17th game being added is that every team will now play an international game at least once every eight years.
The regular season will kick off on Thursday September 9, and with the addition of an extra regular-season week, Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles will now take place February 13, 2022.
The NFL schedule will be released later this spring, but the Seahawks' 2021 opponents, including the 17th game at Pittsburgh, are set:
Home: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Tennessee Titans.
Away: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Football Team.