The San Francisco 49ers are heading south to Mexico City to take on the Arizona Cardinals at Estadio Azteca, 17 years after they met in Mexico for the NFL's first regular season game played outside of the United States. Here's what 49ers general manager John Lynch and safety Talanoa Hufanga had to say about the upcoming international series game:
General manager John Lynch on the adjustment of altitude in Mexico City for the 49ers:
"The biggest challenge is that it's not something that's made up, when you're at higher altitude you have less oxygen available for you. So, you have to try to adapt to that. That was the whole thinking of us going to the Air Force Academy. We consulted with other NFL teams that have done it."
Lynch on how fan attendance Estadio Azteca is anticipated to be a majority of 49ers fans:
"Our fans, the Faithful as we call them, they continue to blow my mind in terms of their support everywhere we go. It's one thing to have that in LA, it's one thing to have that in Seattle, but when we go to Cincinnati, we feel that, when we go to Washington, we feel that, and it sounds like we're going to feel that in Mexico City and that's very exciting for us. We certainly feed off our crowd. We know they feed off us. We have great fans at home, we have great fans wherever we seem to go."
Lynch on the 49ers fanbase in Mexico:
"I think the Niners have a very strong fanbase there. We have a lot of players and people in our organization that are very excited."
Lynch on the 49ers playing a game internationally:
"There's an excitement when you're playing on an international stage. We talk a lot about playing on a national stage like we did this past Sunday night, but playing on an international stage is something that gets our players excited."
Safety Talanoa Hufanga on Mexico being a second home for the 49ers:
"I just saw something that said that there's going to be an 80 percent fanbase for the 49ers and that's just incredible. It's just an honor to put the pads on each and every week. We're very excited to go out there and experience the culture, the fanbase and just go out there and have some fun."
Hufanga on playing his first game outside of the United States:
"Not a lot of people get to do this. It's a very special moment of our team, for the fanbase, for the Hispanic culture. I'm just very blessed to be able to come out there and play the game that I love. All my teammates are excited as well."