Jacksonville Jaguars may play two games in London starting next season
With the NFL, or more specifically Roger Goodell, setting its sights across the Atlantic long term, it makes sense that it would start playing more than one game in London per year. Considering the Jaguars have already agreed to give up one home game in each of the next four seasons to host a London game, it comes as no surprise that they may also be a part of any second game that is played across the pond. Senior writer for Jaguars.com John Oehser assures Jaguars fans that , if they take play in the second London game, it will be as the “away” team:
“The best way to put it is that in 2014-2016, yes, there is a chance for a second game overseas. It almost certainly will not be a second Jaguars home game. As for what happens after that, four years is a long time and much can change”
Oehser is not the only one talking about more games in London. Commission Goodell himself told Bart Hubbuch that the Jaguars could be playing two games in London starting in the near future.
If the NFL is considering moving the Jaguars to London, then it makes sense to have them play there as much as possible to see if they can start to build a fan base. My major concern would be if American Football, regardless of the franchise, would be nearly as popular in London if games became commonplace. It’s one thing to fill a stadium once a season and something else entirely to do so eight times. Additionally, if the franchise to move to London were the Jaguars, how would the fans react if their team performed like they did last season, amassing only two wins? What city is going to support a team of a foreign sport that just arrived that can’t win games?
One article suggests that the Jaguars may not fully move to England and have a split schedule between Jacksonville and London. By cutting the home games in half in Jacksonville, owner Shahid Khan would limit supply while theoretically keeping demand the same, allowing him to sell out more games in Florida and giving him the new fan base in London.
Before the NFL concerns itself with this possibility of expansion, it needs to make sure Jacksonville can even form a fan base in London, or the discussion itself will be entirely pointless.