Jaguars owner Shad Khan wants to keep going to London, but only once a year.
Khan said at today’s kickoff luncheon that he’d like to sign a long-term extension to play a game a year in England, perhaps as long as a 14-year deal which would carry them through 2030. Their original deal to play a game a year there expires in 2016.
“Nothing definitive, but I’m optimistic that we’ll have a renewal on that and it’ll go for a long time,” Khan said, via Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. “I think we would like it to be long term, like 2030, so it’s been probably the No. 1 element in stabilizing the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Hard to believe it’s over, the four-year deal now, but I think it’s a critical part of our franchise to be able to play games there, get the recognition, build the fan base and get sponsors.”
The Jaguars have benefitted from the ticket sales boost from playing in 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium, in addition to the visibility boost that comes from being a regular tenant there. Team president Mark Lamping has said London accounts for 15 percent of the team’s local revenue.
“For us, London and Jacksonville is almost a great marriage made in heaven,” Khan said. “I would expect the NFL may be looking at other areas, other markets to develop, but we want to have a focus and Jacksonville supplemented with London is our focus.”
The league has also struck a deal to play games in the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium, but that one’s not going to be nearly as big as Wembley, thus might not be as attractive to Khan to visit.