Confusion arises over plans for Jaguars in London

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The blurb about the NFL expanding its annual London offering from two games to three contained an ominous footnote for fans in Jacksonville.  According to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, Commissioner Roger Goodell said that there’s a “good chance” the Jaguars will play two “home” games per year in London.

That would fit with the belief in some circles that the Jags eventually will split their schedule between Jacksonville and London.  Sort of like the Packers used to do between Green Bay and Milwaukee.  Only with, you know, an ocean in the middle.

The report has spawned an ocean of confusion.  According to Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says that Goodell didn’t say what Hubbuch says he said.

Hubbuch has since clarified, first by explaining that Goodell didn’t say “home” games and then with the exact on-tape quote from Goodell:  “If we go to 3 London games, what we’ll likely do is ask Jax to potentially play 2 or ask 3 different teams to host.”  (The last part — or ask three different teams to host — implies that, if the Jaguars are playing two games in London, they’d be hosting two games in London.  Otherwise, there would be no need to have three different teams host games.)

Aiello also said, via Stellino, that the league is conducting an “internal analysis” of whether any team should or could play two games in London in any one season.

In our view, it doesn’t matter whether Jacksonville’s two games would be home games or road games or a blend.  The more the Jaguars play in London, the more of a fan base they’ll develop, in theory.  And if a fan base gets big enough, the Jaguars become the natural candidate to play more games there — home, road, or otherwise.

The Jaguars, for their part, aren’t saying much of anything.  “Our focus is on one game per year we are committed to play there the next four years,” the team told Stellino.  “That’s all we’re thinking about.”

Though Stellino interprets that as an unequivocal “no,” only an unequivocal “no” is an unequivocal “no.”  And the Jaguars didn’t supply an unequivocal “no.”

More importantly, Goodell supplied the equivocal “yes.”

66 responses to “Confusion arises over plans for Jaguars in London

  1. It’s one thing for the SA Spurs to play preseason games in Mexico City, or the Mariners and A’s playing baseball in Japan (should be exhibition only), but football? Maybe preseason, but not regular season. I don’t see Man U playing EPL games in Tampa or Barcelona playing real games in the States? But…it would be a guaranteed sellout in London, which will continue the attendance decline in JAX.

  2. Not to diss Jacksonville or anything, but I’m pretty sure more people show up to the games in London than the fans that show up to EverBank Field…

  3. raqaiw says:
    Jun 4, 2013 5:32 PM
    London Shaguars.
    Not too shabby.
    Two thumbs down? Well I know two people who missed out on the most essential movie of a red-blooded American childhood.

  4. The Brits were none too happy when Ford took over Jaguar, an upstart from the colonies taking control of the progeny of a knighted “old boy”. Now if Roger thinks for a second that the name recognition of the third team from Florida is going to forever endear the NFL to the UK, I believe that he will find that much the opposite will be true.

    Ford may have solved Coventry’s motor problems before it exited from that company (which will keep the outfit going for another couple of decades), but our football is not going to succeed over there in the face of well-entrenched soccer and rugby leagues.

    Do the right thing Roger, stop screwing with “our” football and trying to sell the cleaned-up version overseas.

  5. I’m a Vikings fan, but even I can see that JAX never should’ve gotten an expansion team over Baltimore. Then we wouldn’t have more Florida attendance issues and Cleveland wouldn’t have had to endure the wrong that they did.

  6. Whenever a team starts playing multiple games there regularly each year, as is being discussed, it will become an issue with the players union and the league. The amount of travel for all road games if and when a team is based from there would be unreal. Imagine going to Seattle, San Francisco and Arizona. Teams can and do play two consecutive road games so the league might have the London team stay on the west coast of the U.S. to play Seattle and then San Francisco, but now you have a team who isn’t at home during the week, at their own facilities and on and on… The players will expect a lot of benjamins to make this a reality.

  7. Vito Stellino now reporting Jaguars source as saying “Our focus is on the one game per year that we are committed to play there the next for years. That’s all we’re thinking about.”

  8. I’m not even a jags fan but if I were , I’d be pissed. This whole notion of going overseas for games is ridiculous. Roger you and your greedy, bottom line owners are ruining the League slowly but surely by ignoring the fans and then LIE about how the fans want this when we all know that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Mr Goodell , you are a 30 million dollar joke.

  9. I’m a Bills fan, and I hate us going to Toronto for supposed “Home” games. They aren’t!!! Give London a team. Their away games are inconus and opponents “away” games could be there. As for Toronto, botth teams should play “Away” games there….Toronto fans aren’t like Bills fans. It’s an away game!

  10. they will kill the game taking it out of north america…just move the jags to LA and call it a day… i’m so sick of these nfl rumors and threats. play the damn games and stop the drama.

  11. The confusing part is will they be called the “Jag-yew-ahrs” or the “Jag-wahrs”?

  12. Poor Jags fans. I would be livid if the NFL used two of my team’s home games for games in London.

  13. The good thing is that it rains a lot in London so they already have the tarps for the Jags.

  14. How exactly is the team supposed to be competitive playing multiple games overseas? Plus, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a city sue the NFL over that because of lost revenue. Publicly funded stadiums are built with the expectation there will be so many games played there.

  15. I would think the good folk of Jacksonville would be estatic at this news…..

    That’s two games with no local blackout guaranteed.

  16. I feel so bad for the fans of the Jags. They keep gettingthier chains yanked just when they get all excited and pumped up for the new regime and players they have. Goodall is screwing up this league and needs to be replaced. Im no Jags fan but Id rather my Colts play the Jax Jags vs the London Jags, This is our sport the Brits have soccer. Goodall is a true stick in the mud for this league and the Jags wont be the last team he trys to make his whipping boys. I say boycott London or any game outside the USA, If Brits or any other country wants to watch American Football do what millions of people do and buy the NFL SUNDAY TICKET, LEAVE THE JAGS ALONE GOODALL YOU BIG BULLY!



    Move them to LA


    There…that about covers it.

  18. thirdistheworrd says:Jun 4, 2013 5:43 PM

    Two thumbs down? Well I know two people who missed out on the most essential movie of a red-blooded American childhood.
    Perhaps the thumbs down were from people that thought the team should be the London Silly-Nannies……

  19. I don’t care what you do, just stop sending the 49’ers from the West Coast to London. Send the freaking Jets or Bills.

  20. Just don’t put any of the games in London on MNF or SNF. Does anybody really care if the Jags play all their games somewhere else?

  21. To some of you @$$faces whom don’t know what you are talking about please shut your faces & look at attendances numbers try reading up on some accurate information before commenting about the Jacksonville Jaguars. K thanks !

  22. As a Jacksonville native and Jaguars fan, I’ve had just about enough of Goodell. Threats upon threats and insinuation upon insinuation. His treatment of the Jags between LA and London only helps keep these ignorant stereotypes about the club going. Good things are happening. A strong fan base is coming of age and a community has rallied together over the past 4 seasons. Nobody would know since Goodell continues to threaten this franchise at every turn.

  23. How about the Jags players who have families? I’m certain they look forward to playing home games so they can be around them. Now they’re talking about taking them away from home for all the away games + the 2 or 3 in London?

  24. thirdistheworrd says: Jun 4, 2013 5:43 PM

    raqaiw says:
    Jun 4, 2013 5:32 PM
    London Shaguars.
    Not too shabby.
    Two thumbs down? Well I know two people who missed out on the most essential movie of a red-blooded American childhood.

    Oh Behave!

  25. I just came in here to say that the pic tells me the team missed a golden opportunity to turn that foam claw hand into a combo “#1” claw foam hand. I’m not a Jags fan but even I might have ordered one.

  26. Weird but I take joy in jax’s attendance issues. I thought for sure Baltimore was getting a team that year but the former comish gave the teams to Carolina and Jacksonville.

  27. For an European (like me) it is cheaper to go see a game in London than
    overseas. Even though the trip will cost me as much as season ticket
    package in Jacksonville and will be sitting up under the roof of the
    Wembley stadium, it is one of my biggest wishes (to see my Jaguars play
    live) coming true.
    It is not a problem selling 2 games per year to a 450 millions of Europeans (mostly British fans), than making the game of football
    being liked more. The American football will never become adequate to other ball sports. Although there is even an American football league in Slovenia, the sport is not very popular. I cannot
    speak for other countries, but soccer is and will be #1 sport almost
    everywhere, opposite to ‘that sport where funny americans throw an egg
    then collide and wait for the next commercial block to continue’

  28. GrossmanDaSexCannon says:
    Jun 4, 2013 7:23 PM
    thirdistheworrd says: Jun 4, 2013 5:43 PM

    raqaiw says:
    Jun 4, 2013 5:32 PM
    London Shaguars.
    Not too shabby.
    Two thumbs down? Well I know two people who missed out on the most essential movie of a red-blooded American childhood.

    Oh Behave!


    Make that nineteen people who never got… a head in life!

  29. I agree with pmuraus not only in London but anywhere outside of the US.

    Soccer has way too much a strong hold on popularity. The NFL, as great as it still is, will never make enough of a dent in soccer overseas.

    MLB has a way better chance of expansion in other countries than the NFL.

  30. Talk about getting the short straw! That’s like getting to play two home games in Siberia–the Jags fans should turn in their season tickets and demand their money back! Goodell… What a shmuck!

  31. What are we trying to do — turn the Brits on to turnovers and futility? It’s like taking a guest to the nicest restaurant in town and ordering them corn dog bites.

  32. Jacksonville has not had a blackout in years; Tampa Bay and Oakland have several per year.

    Jacksonville drew more fans than Pittsburgh last year, look it up; Jacksonville finished 20th in NFL attendance.

    The tarps reduce the 86,000 seat stadium, built for the Florida-Georgia game, to a more NFL-like size of 68,000. Some were actually removed for a couple of games last year due to ticket demand.

    Don’t let the facts get in the way of your misinformed bashing.

  33. It’s like when your buddy takes a bite of something that tastes awful then immediately wants you to try it. “Oh my God, London; the Jaguars are TERRIBLE. Here, have them for two games.”

    On the bright side, spectators who know nothing of the sport are unlikely to appreciate just how excruciatingly god-awful this team is.

  34. Are they going to put tarps over the seats at Wembly too because this franchise is ripe for a move ?

    Sorry Jags fans but Jacksonville is a third world country in the State of Florida. Been there and never want to go back !!!

  35. This is bull…. Khan has spend millions on the new stadium and they are getting a huge jumbo tron in the coming years! No team should leave North America…

  36. I feel so sorry for the 4 or 5 Jaguars fans out there. (As a side note, I am just dying to see Goodell try to take a Steelers, Packers, Broncos, or Eagles home game and move it to London. That would be high comedy!)

  37. At what point will the greed of the NFL come back at them? I still can’t believe the suckers that buy PSL’s or the cities that fund the stadiums.

  38. Jacksonville was ranked 20th in attendance in 2012. We averaged 2,600+ more people per home game than the Chicago Bears. And Chicago is the 3rd largest city in the country. We don’t have any attendance issues or blackouts, so get over it. We’re not going anywhere.

  39. I’m pretty sure the NFL Draft would be illigal in Europe so I can’t see a team ever moving there.

  40. So what the Jaguars loose two games in Jacksonville a year… It’s not like anybody is going to see them anyways. And everyone needs to slow down on this expansion to London talk not happening anytime soon….

    You see a lot of friendlies in soccer played here stateside all the time between international teams and teams from MLS, this isn’t much different aside from the fact that they no longer have a professional gridiron league in Europe

  41. I find it amusing how everyone is quick to blame Goodell but completely leave Khan out of it.

    What will it take for jags fans to realize that this man is NOT who they thought he was?

  42. Joetoronto you are absolutely right. Khan is the driving force behind the Jags playing in London, I have no idea why people think it’s Goodell.

    The Jags were well under the cap last year, will be again this year, and will begin this season as the only NFL team with a 1st time GM, 1st time head coach, & an OC who has never called plays in the NFL. In short, Khan is doing it on the cheap, yet Jags fans seem to be blinded by it all. Some even say playing home games in London is somehow a good thing!!!

    Fellow Jacksonville residents/Jags fans: the man with the curly moustache who’s smiling in our face could care less about the NFL in Jacksonville. All he cares about is the value of his franchise, which will increase exponentially should the Jags ever move to London. WAKE UP, YOU RUBES!!! HE’S NOT EVEN HIDING HIS DELIGHT IN PLAYING HOME GAMES OVERSEAS!!!

  43. they should just play preseason over there that way we have our regular season games still they get to see the nfl
    besides they like soccer not football what is the difference between regular season and preseason to them

  44. Hypothetical:
    Make the NFC(efc) the east, Indy being the center. Afc becomes the wfc. Add London in east and Honolulu or San Antonio in west. Then make playoffs. Only halfway fair way yo compensate for travel, etc

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