The Jacksonville Jaguars are more than willing to give up a home game every season, which hurts their ability to be competitive on the field, in order to maintain a foothold in London.
The Jaguars are as close as London has to a home NFL team, and the NFL announced that the team has extended their agreement to play at least one game at London's Wembley Stadium for five more years, through at least 2020. The NFL has the option to extend that agreement through 2025 as well. Khan has said before that he would like to play a game in London every season through 2030, at least.
The Jaguars were in the third year of a four-year agreement to play one game each season in London. Apparently it's going well for them, considering there's a possibility of 10 more seasons of a game overseas (and it's not easy — check out Eric Adelson's story on the amount of prep work that goes into each London trip for the Jaguars).
"Our four-year London initiative has been every bit as rewarding as we anticipated, certainly due in large part to the league's commitment to the UK and the world class experience that Wembley Stadium has provided the Jaguars, our fans and our partners,"Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in a statement, via the NFL. "Our interest in extending our agreement to play a home game each season in London is nothing new. So, we're very happy to make it official today. This is great news for the Jaguars and the stability of the team in Jacksonville, which has come to embrace London as our home away from home."
NFL teams this year approved a resolution that will allow the league to play regular-season games in other countries through 2025, and expand to locations other than London, such as Mexico or Germany.
In London, games will continue to be held at Wembley Stadium but will also play two games per year at the English Premier League's Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium that will open in summer of 2018. The league said in its announcement that at least two games will be played at Wembley through 2020 as well.
Khan seems to be positioning himself to be first in line if the NFL ever moves a team permanently to London. In 2013 he bought the Fulham Football Club, which was relegated from the English Premier League to the Football League Championship in 2014, after 13 seasons in the EPL. Even if Khan doesn't become the owner of a permanent London team anytime soon, he might be spending at least one week there for the next 10 seasons anyway.
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