Can’t imagine Jacksonville Jaguars’ season ticket holders, fans, and players are thrilled with this bit of news, brought to us by Ian Rapoport and then announced officially by the team:
The Jaguars today will play two of their home games at Wembley Stadium over consecutive Sundays in London in 2020, making them the first team in NFL history to play two home games outside of the United States in the same regular season. Opponents TBD. Big news.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 4, 2020
There’s a typo in there, actually an omission. Should say “announced” before “today.” But the tweet is understandable either way because we learned how to use context clues in elementary school.
This London/Jags thing has been going for some time now. They play over there all the time. Owner Shad Khan also owns Fulham F.C., which plays in West London. The NFL has been trying to grow the game internationally via regular season contests in the UK and Mexico, so this is only a natural progression.
On the Jag-wires official site, there’s a lengthy official statement that reads, in part:
The Jacksonville Jaguars today announced that the Jaguars will play two of their home games at Wembley Stadium, connected by EE, over consecutive Sundays in London in 2020, making them the first team in NFL history to play two home games outside of the United States in the same regular season.
While the opponents for the games to be played in Wembley Stadium have not been determined, the Jaguars can confirm that their home games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears in 2020 will be played in Jacksonville at TIAA Bank Field.
In 2020, Jaguars season ticket members will receive a 50 percent discount on preseason games and favorable variable pricing on the six regular season games that will result in an overall average ticket price reduction of 5 percent, representing a 15 percent savings off their invoice from last season. In addition, season ticket holders will receive a strong benefits package with features both new and improved that will be announced during the renewal process.
The timing of this announcement is strategically aligned with the team’s ambitious and big-picture plans for Jacksonville and, specifically, the planned Lot J development.When completed, Phase One of the proposed $500 million Lot J project in partnership with Cordish Companies would feature an entertainment district, a 200-room hotel, residential buildings offering 405 units and additional parking.
Overall, the Lot J project is designed to redefine the downtown experience and landscape while stimulating further development in the downtown and stadium area. It is also the latest, and biggest, endeavor spearheaded by the Jaguars to help Jacksonville realize its full potential.
Similarly, playing one home game annually in London since 2013 to grow the team’s brand internationally and forge business opportunities in Jacksonville while generating team-record revenues that are reinvested in the franchise has been essential in the team’s goal to keep pace with NFL franchises of all market sizes. Playing home games in London will continue to be very be important to the Jaguars during the transition period expected during the Lot J construction.
Okay, I see how this is being explained from their end.
It would be like the Eagles going and playing back to back games in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia while Penn DOT comes in and reworks that stretch of I-95 near the stadiums. But in our case, Penn DOT would take fucking forever to get the job done, and the Eagles would probably end up playing the entire season in Ulaanbaatar instead.