It’s certainly no surprise that the Jaguars have extended their agreement to play one home game a year in London through 2020. It’s only a bit surprising that the new deal is not for longer.
“Our interest in extending our agreement to play a home game each season in London is nothing new. So, we’re very happy to make it official today,” said Jaguars Owner Shad Khan from London.
Khan was interested in extending the deal through 2030 but instead; it’s an arrangement to continue to play at Wembley Stadium through 2020 with an opportunity to extend the deal into 2025. Although Khan has also expressed an interest in playing a game in Europe as well, for now, just one game a year overseas will be on the schedule for the Jaguars. Perhaps if the team was winning there’d be more thought of expanding the footprint onto the Continent but for now, the focus is to get a winning team on the field.
NFL clubs recently approved a resolution to continue playing international regular-season games through the 2025 season and expanded the league’s ability to play those games in countries and territories beyond the UK. Germany and Mexico City are the two places the league would like to play next. If he can figure out how to make it work and not impact the revenue or the product on the field, Khan would like to have the Jaguars in the game in Germany. It’s possible the Jaguars could play a “road” game there either the week before or after the London game. But that’s just a thought for now.
A quick look at the Jaguars revenue makes it clear that London is a key component in the Jaguars profitability. Khan has said many times that a “sustainable franchise in Jacksonville is only helped by playing a game in London.”
Today he reiterated that.
“This is great news for the Jaguars and the stability of the team in Jacksonville, which has come to embrace London as our home away from home.”
An important part of the deal for Khan was to continue to play at Wembley. Earlier this year, the NFL and the English Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur franchise announced an agreement to play a minimum of two games per year during a 10-year partnership at Tottenham’s new state-of-the-art stadium, due to open in the summer of 2018.
That means the league will have two different stadiums hosting games in London. The NFL’s Vice President of International Mark Waller said today at the announcement, “We are very appreciative of the Jaguars extending their commitment to the UK market, which emphasizes the club’s and league’s strong ambition to continue to grow the fan base for NFL football beyond the borders of the United States.”
When you’re in London for the game, you see a lot of Jaguars gear on fans and for sale. While Americans who have made the trip wear some of it, a surprising number of International NFL fans have embraced the Jaguars as “their team.”
In the UK, FA Group Operations Director JULIE HARRINGTON said today, “We are proud that the NFL identified Wembley Stadium 10 years ago to serve as the focal point of its vision for international expansion. Since then, we have forged a very special partnership with Mr. Khan and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Today’s news and this deal shows their trust and long-term belief in our venue.”