The Jacksonville Jaguars want to remain a fixture in the NFL’s London game series through 2030, club owner Shad Khan said Tuesday. Jacksonville has played games at London’s Wembley Stadium in each of the past two seasons, and the Jaguars remain at the forefront of the league’s attempts to expand its fan base in the U.K.
Jacksonville’s current agreement to play at Wembley Stadium began in 2013 and will end in 2016. This year, the Jaguars will travel to London to play the Buffalo Bills Oct. 25. Under the present arrangement, the NFL designates Jacksonville as the home team in its London contests, meaning the franchise receives two-thirds of the ticket revenue generated by the games and has access to local sponsorship revenue. If Khan gets his way, the Jaguars will continue to enjoy the benefits of that access for at least the next 15 years.
“Nothing definitive, but I’m optimistic that we’ll have a renewal on that and it’ll go for a long time,” ESPN quoted Khan as saying. “I think we would like it to be long term, like 2030, so it’s been probably the No. 1 element in stabilizing the Jacksonville Jaguars.”
The NFL’s revenue-sharing model divides leaguewide earnings from corporate sponsorships, media-rights deals and a portion of ticket sales equally among all its 32 franchises. But franchises are free to pursue team-specific income through their portion of ticket sales at home games, stadium naming-rights deals and local sponsorships.
In this sense, Jacksonville executives say the club’s annual participation in the London series has had a noticeable effect on the franchise’s bottom line. The Jaguars play only one game in London per season, but they draw 15 percent of their team-specific revenue from the U.K. city, ESPN reported. The club’s earnings through sponsorships, including London deals, rose 29 percent in 2013, the first year the Jaguars played at Wembley.
All three of the NFL’s games in London sold out last season, drawing crowds of more than 80,000 people in the process. The International Series has been so successful that league executives announced an agreement to play two games per season at the Tottenham Hotspur Football (Soccer) Club’s new multisport stadium in London through the 2028 season. (Tottenham is an English Premier League team.)
Coupled with the NFL’s planned renewal of its contract with Wembley Stadium, the Tottenham agreement could mean the league will play five or more games per season in London beginning in 2018. And if the Jacksonville Jaguars finalize a deal with Wembley, the franchise will be at the center of that expansion.