February 5 –The Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team will play two of their home games at London’s Wembley Stadium over consecutive Sundays in 2020.
The Jaguars, owned by Shahid Khan who also owns Fulham in the English Championship will be the first team in NFL history to play two home games outside of the US in the same regular season.
The Jaguars have played a regular season game in London since 2013 and last year Khan even submitted a controversial bid to buy the Wembley Stadium from the English FA. That bid wasn’t accepted following a public outcry over the selling off of what most regard as part of English football’s heritage.
The Jaguars are currently involved in a $500 million redevelopment in Jacksonville (the Lot J project) around their home stadium, bit the roots put down in London are considered crucial to the team’s expansion, say the management.
Mark Lamping, president of the Jacksonville Jaguars, said: “For the past seven seasons, our London strategy has been a game-changer. No single approach, including London, will answer the many challenges that are common with any market the size of Jacksonville.
“However, playing two games in London at Wembley Stadium, where we have outstanding relationships, at least next season and perhaps in future years during construction, will help us bridge the gap between now and when we expect the Lot J development to open. Jacksonville’s potential is unlimited, and I am confident we can realise it, with the Jaguars serving as the catalyst.”
London will also host two NFL matches at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the 2020 season though the participating teams have yet to be announced.
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