The news that the Jaguars would play two games in London next season prompted some to conclude that one would be a home game, and that one would be a road game. Instead, the Jaguars have decided to export 25 percent of their 2020 regular-season home games to England.
It’s a stunning move, one that invites plausible speculation that the Jaguars eventually will expand to three or four or maybe more London games. Football is business, not family, and the family business of making as much profit as possible hinges on playing games where the money and people are. There are more money and people in London, and owner Shad Khan’s decision to double his inventory of English games should be regarded as a potential stopover to more.
As previously reported, the league would approve a move by the Jaguars to London, if that’s what Khan chooses to do. And while there would be numerous logistical hurdles to overcome, the NFL didn’t get to where it now is by not chasing dollars. Or pounds. Or whatever the local legal tender may be.
This doesn’t mean the Jaguars will abandon Jacksonville, but a split schedule (like the Packers’ former Milwaukee/Green Bay arrangement) could be coming. Basically, they’d have a pair of London trips that would entail a pair of “home” games on a back-to-back basis, with four other true home games played in Jacksonville. If/when they make the playoffs and host a playoff game or two, those games would be played in Jacksonville.
It makes too much sense for it to not happen, especially since the Jaguars make more money when they play in London. And if they can split the difference between Jacksonville and London and generate a much greater profit in the process, it’s a no-brainer that the team will move in that direction.