With the Jaguars preparing to announce the team they’ll face in the first of four games to be played at Wembley Stadium in London, another city in Europe is hoping to host a game as soon as 2013.
The Sunday Times of London reported this past Sunday (which makes sense, given the name of the paper) that the government is in talks with the NFL regarding the playing of a game at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland.
“We started working on this after we heard the NFL is holding two fixtures outside America next year,” said Croke Park manager Phil McKenna, via NFL-Ireland.com. “Normally they hold one, and that’s in Wembley in London. We’re making a pitch for the second fixture to be played in Croke Park. We’ve spent some time with the NFL, we’ve shown them how the setup works. It’s in their hands now.”
The talks have been facilitated by Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, who has served as Ambassador to Ireland. And Dublin proved its ability to stage a major American football game when Notre Dame host Navy there last month.
If Jaguars owner Shahid Khan is intent on building a fan following in Europe, he should want his team to be involved in the second overseas game in 2013, either as the road team or as the home team. The biggest logistical drawback would arise from the fact that the Jaguars only have one bye week to follow a game played out of the country.
Of course, the Jags could always stay there for a full week, play two games, and then take their bye.