The NFL created the NFL Kickoff Game in 2002, a Thursday night game as the official start to the regular season. And two decades later it’s still the first game of each season, as it will be in 2023.
When Does the 2023 NFL Season Start?
The 2023 NFL season will start with the NFL Kickoff Game on Thursday, Sept. 7.
The defending Super Bowl champion has hosted the first game of the season in 18 of 20 years. The only exceptions:
- 2013: The defending champion Baltimore Ravens were the road team (at the Denver Broncos) due to a Baltimore Orioles’ home game on the same date.
- 2019: Instead of the defending champion New England Patriots hosting the game, the NFL scheduled the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears (at Soldier Field) to celebrate the league’s 100th anniversary.
The remaining Week 1 games in 2023 will be played on Sunday, Sept. 10, and Monday, Sept. 11.