The Jags will play a second home game at London’s Wembley stadium during 2020 as they attempt to buck the trend of being in the lower part of the league in local revenue, per the report from ESPN. The games will be played in back-to-back weeks.
The Jaguars are hoping that they can cash in on what has been a lucrative venture for NFL teams; playing in London,which generates twice the money of a home game at TIAA Bank Field where the Jaguars currently call home.
The Jaguars are spearheading a proposed $700 million entertainment district development around the stadium that would result in additional revenue, but in the meantime, Jaguars president Mark Lamping said adding another home game in London is the best decision for the team to make at this time.
“For clubs like the Jaguars, we are entering an uncertain time,” Lamping said. “That uncertain time is related to three teams that in the past were teams that were with us in the bottom of the league in terms of revenue. They have taken steps, steps that we would not consider, but they’ve taken steps to fix their revenue by leaving Oakland, by leaving St. Louis, and by leaving San Diego. That has had an impact in terms of all the other teams that are where we are in terms of the league.
“We know that Lot J [the name for the proposed entertainment district], in conjunction with all the things that [owner] Shad [Khan] has already invested in, those will continue to pay dividends for us but we can’t snap our fingers and get Lot J open tomorrow. So we’re waiting to go from where we are now, which is Lot J just a vision, to it actually being open. We need to be looking for those opportunities to supplement our revenue situation and we believe that London fits that bill.”
Jaguars’ owner Shad Khan doesn’t believe that fans will react negatively to the decision.
“I think if you go back when the first game was announced and really historically what that’s done for the city and done for the Jaguars, so my expectation is that it should be very positive,” Khan said. “Everything we’re doing helps the city, helps us, and that’s what you need a small-market team to do to get on a competitive footing with all the resources you need to compete with the other big-market teams.”
While there seems to be a vision in place for the long-term success of the Jags in Jacksonville, it does appear more likely that the Jaguars could be the next NFL team to relocate, with London certainly on the radar.