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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Khan, Jaguars May Extend Contract With London, NFL

The Jacksonville Jaguars have two more years on their deal with the NFL to play games in London. It appears team owner Shad Khan wants to extend that agreement as a matter of dollars and cents.

As Daniel Kaplan explained in the Jacksonville Business Journal on Tuesday, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan wants to continue playing an annual regular-season game in London after next season, when the current four-year term approved by his fellow owners expires.

Khan made his comments in an interview shortly before the Super Bowl. It's the first time he has publicly said he'd seek more games in London.

The NFL has not formally committed to playing more games, for any teams, in London beyond 2016, when the ownership decree for overseas play expires. However, league executives have been up front that their strategy envisions more games beyond next season.

Jaguars fans lose one “home” game as part of their season ticket package, although there are opportunities for them to travel across the pond to see their beloved Jaguars. The team has not fared well, losing the last two seasons to both the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. Buffalo is the opponent for the upcoming season in a game that will be shown locally at 9:30 am.

Kaplan’s article points out the league also has not been shy about suggesting there could be a team based in London in the next decade, with speculation naturally falling on the Jaguars. Asked about this, Khan said there is no such relocation plan at the moment, with the team focused instead on using London to supplement the franchise's local efforts in Jacksonville.

Khan said that next Wednesday, during the team's third annual state-of-the-franchise webcast, he'll note that the Jaguars expect to rank 22nd among NFL clubs in terms of projected revenue for the 2015 season. That's a big improvement from Jacksonville's last-place ranking among the NFL's 32 teams that Khan inherited when he bought the team in late 2011.

The London crowds have taken a liking to the Jaguars as the “home” team and have been supportive not only of Jacksonville, but the other teams who have played in the annual event.

Beginning with the 2007 season, the National Football League (NFL) has hosted regular season American football games outside of the United States every year in a series known as the International Series. From 2007 and until at least 2016, games have been held in the United Kingdom, at London's Wembley Stadium. An NFL bid to become anchor tenants of London's Olympic Stadium failed.


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