A source told the Associated Press that Jacksonville Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver will sell the team to Shahid Khan, an Pakistani-born automobile parts manufacturer.
The source said Khan, who moved to Illinois from Pakistan when he was 16 years old, will keep the team in Jacksonville. There has been wide speculation that the Jaguars could possibly move to Los Angeles, as the city has already approved the construction of a new football stadium in downtown.
However, the Jaguars would need to exercise a special escape clause to leave Florida, and would owe the city for lost taxes and parking revenue for years, according to ESPN.
Weaver, a shoe-store chain owner, brought the Jaguars to the NFL as an expansion team in 1995. The club has had success in its early years, but has struggled with attendance. Weaver reportedly chose to sell to Khan to keep the club in Jacksonville.
I've had calls from California that I've refused to take, Weaver said, according to ESPN.
There have been discussions that NBA legend Magic Johnson was a leading candidate to bring an NFL team to Los Angeles.
I definitely want to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles, said Johnson, on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live in Dec. 2010. Nobody knows this, I'm announcing this today. I teamed up with Tim Leiweke and AEG and we're going to come together to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles.
For now it appears Khan will take control of the club. It will take 75 percent of the NFL's owners to approve the sale to Khan.
Owning a team in the National Football League has long been my personal and professional goal, Khan said, according to USA Today. Becoming the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars would be a dream come true for me and my family but, above all, would be a privilege. To that end, I would like to thank Commissioner Roger Goodell and members of his team for their counsel and guidance throughout my efforts over the past several years.
I am now looking forward to the review process in accordance with league policy. If the proposed transaction is approved in the weeks ahead, I will responsibly and enthusiastically serve the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars and their great fans, and I will be fully committed to delivering Jacksonville its first Super Bowl championship. This is a franchise with tons of potential, playing in a community that is passionate about football and loves to win. I can't think of a better place to be.
It has been a busy day for the Jaguars as the club fired head coach Jack Del Rio. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker will coach Jacksonville on an interim basis.
The Jaguars parted ways with starting quarterback David Garrard, who put up solid numbers in 2010, in the off-season. The club selected Blaine Gabbert with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, but he has not progressed well, according to reports.