By Eric Schmidt

The NFL rumor of the Jacksonville Jaguars relocating in the NFL realm have been longstanding. The Jaguars have long been one of the league’s teams linked to a possible move to Los Angeles. A new rumors has surfaced regarding the Jaguars and this time it has the team moving East, not West. It seems, in certain circles, that the Jacksonville team might be destined to relocate in London, England.

This week, the NFL played it’s annual dreadful International Series game in London. The New England Patriots destroyed the St. Louis Rams. Patriots owner Robert Kraft made news by telling fans in England and reporters that it’s time to place a team in London. I think not.

According to NFL insider Jason LaCanfora, a move to London for the league could come sooner, rather than later and the Jacksonville Jaguars appear primed to be the team.

From the CBSSports blog by Jason LaCanfora

Eric Grubman, the league’s Executive Vice President of Business Ventures, addressed the teams as part of the International Committee presentation at the meeting less than two weeks ago, and spoke in certain terms about the desire to have a team in London, sources said, with numerous attendees leaving the meeting with the impression this initiative will result in a team moving to London more quickly than owners had previously imagined.

“Grubman pretty much flat-out said, ‘We want to have a team in London — our goal is to get a team there and make this happen,’” said one source who was present for the meeting. “It didn’t sound like an if, we took it as a when.”

Said another source at the meeting: “I don’t even know why they call it the International Committee. They should just call it the London Committee. It’s pretty obvious everything is geared to the U.K. and, really, Wembley Stadium. I left that meeting thinking this isn’t 20 years away, this is happening in five to 10 years. The league is really behind this.”

Now, I’ve written about the possibility of the Jaguars moving in the past, and I get a lot of response from Jaguars fans telling me I’m nuts. I happen to live in Florida and have been here for over 40 years. I have a pretty good idea what’s happening in this state.

Jaguars fans are blind when it comes to the reality of financial matters. Jacksonville should never have been awarded a NFL franchise. The market cannot support a team. Yes, Shahid Khan bought the team and promised to keep the team in Jacksonville. He’s been involved in local dealings in order to increase interest in the team, but in reality, this is a pretty bad team.

Khan did not spend hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase a franchise to keep it languishing in a poor economic market. The 32 owners of NFL franchises are not stupid business men, they did not amass their money by winning the lottery, they have made smart business decisions. I always considered the Jaguars to be a team poised to head to Los Angeles.

The Jaguars are replacing the St. Louis Rams as a team which will play “home” games in London through the 2016 season.

I am not a fan of playing NFL games overseas. I don’t like the International Series. I don’t like the idea Roger Goodell has floated that the league should have a Super Bowl played in London.

Despite the claims from the current owner, Jaguars fans need to be aware. Your team could be on the move. Mr. Khan could tell the fanbase that economic considerations have made this move inevitable. Then again, he might just call in the Mayflower trucks in the middle of the night and jump on a trans-Atlantic freighter.





Filed under: AFC South, Jacksonville Jaguars, NFL

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Readers Comments (21)

  1. avatar JMAC66

    NFL should only play in the U.S. Don’t like this idea at all. If this happens I hope a new football league happens here! I would must likely not watch any more NFL since it would no longer the true NFL I’ve always known. It will become something I might not be able to love anymore.

  2. avatar JJ Jones

    The Jaguars are not moving. Quit trolling for page hits.

    • avatar Eric Schmidt

      Jaguars fans need to come to the reality that their team is likely moving somewhere. Whether fans like it or not.

      • avatar JAdams

        JJ is right, you are trolling for hits. I can’t go into it based on confidentiality, but I have studied these figures for business purposes. The Jags have less of a chance of moving than several other NFL teams. If you would like to remain blind, that’s fine, but please don’t speak about “reality” to others with your incorrect belief and delusional theories. There are several reasons why they won’t move… from economics, stadium situation, contracts, etc. to attendance figures and blackouts. The Jags have much more reason to hang around than a team such as the Raiders, which even has a following and has already been to LA, has a terrible economy, a stadium that needs repair and a years of poor attendance. Attendance records for past few years for all NFL teams. Simple research, but it’s easier to write an article, right?

        • avatar Eric Schmidt

          Wikipedia as a reference? Please. Did anyone bother to read the entire story from Jason LaCanfora I linked to?

          • avatar JAdams

            Wikipedia was just the attendance records, your arrogance is full of ignorance.

          • avatar Little Boots

            I suppose when NFL insiders are all pointing to the Jaguars, you would have to resort to Wikipedia and your own “business studies” to prove a point. Don’t you think the team that already has an agreement to play in London for four consecutive years would most likely be the team that moves to London?

    • avatar brandon

      ok first off your stupid how bout you go look at the facts before you talk….we havent had a blacked out game in 4 years and we are far from last in ticket sales. we are above the rams bucs dolphins etc etc we arent going anywhere shaid khan already told reports he isnt moving the team he is staying here no matter what happens….go jags

      • avatar Little Boots

        The difference being St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Miami are cities well surpassing Jacksonville in relevance, density and brand recognition.

        • avatar Big boots

          What? And those are all factors of what? Just stop talking…

          • avatar Little Boots

            Jacksonville is the least dense of all cities currently supporting an NFL team. This affects attendance (yes yes I know this year there are teams with lower attendance numbers) because people have to drive from all over the city and the surrounding areas to attend games. Additionally, Jacksonville does not really have a national identity that makes the city unique and known to outsiders. Downtown is a ghost town, nobody wants to live there. There is a complete lack of public transportation, allowing lower income people to attend games. All of this factors into deciding whether or not it’s worth keeping the team in Jacksonville once the league decides to get a team in London, or LA, etc. There is NOTHING going on in the city’s government to assume any of this will change in coming decades. Until Jacksonville becomes a city with a real national identity, the idea it can continue to support one of 32 NFL teams becomes more outlandish. It’s a city that loves college football and after twenty years would still rather watch the Gators.

        • avatar Pierre LaRoque

          Jacksonville averages 10k more fans a game this year than Tampa this year.

          They averaged 10k more fans a game than Tampa last year.

          • avatar Little Boots

            How many of those fans sitting at Everbank field are there to see the jaguars? I have no doubt NFL games are attracting spectators.

  3. avatar Deke

    Sorry but we’ve got rugby in the UK. We don’t need NFL. Try Norway.

  4. avatar Pierre LaRoque

    There are multiple reason the Jaguars are not moving to London, or anywhere else for that matter.

    First, they have a strong lease with the city for the next 15 years to start. The only way out of the lease is to show that the team lost money in consecutive seasons. Hint: NFL teams don’t lose money.

    Second, teams move due to stadium issues. Why were the Colts a candidate for relocation ten years ago but not now? Is it because of tickets sold? No. It’s because they have a stadium that generates more revenue. Same in Minnesota. The Vikings are getting a new stadium. They are no longer a candidate for relocation. It’s the same reason that the Bills and Chargers are teams that could actually move. Do some research.

    As for London, Forbes lays it out pretty nicely. Again…research is your friend.

  5. avatar Little Boots

    The Jacksonvillians that troll every news article comments section related to this topic are in a constant state of denial. A shit city with an inability to support their shit NFL franchise have convinced themselves a billionaire from out of state will keep the team in Jacksonville because “he said so.” Talk about willful ignorance. If it’s not London it will be LA but just like the former owner who would never sell, the current owner will absolutely move the team when the opportunity presents itself.

    Maybe you guys should use this as an opportunity to do something about your fledgling downtown and infrastructure, the problem runs much deeper than anyone in that failing city wants to admit.

    • avatar JAdams

      2 problems with your comment, 1) Personally, I don’t live in Jacksonville or Florida or even the U.S., I have no vested interest in where the team plays out of and would actually be closer to them if they were in London. I no longer do business in Jacksonville either. 2) You make it sound very easy to move an NFL team. I’d love to hear an intelligent response on the logistics of such a move. Even if Mr. Khan wanted to move the team, it isn’t a simple task, especially moving a divisional team so far out of their divisional radius. There is no breach of contract with the city of Jacksonville, the stadium is in good repair and was renovated in the past 10 years for a Superbowl. They didn’t take the break the NFL offered (like the Bucs), which suggests they are happy with their current profits/status and ignoring it to show loss of income would bite them later. So, you think they can just pay a fee and break a lease. Great… wait a second, what if the organization is sued for breach? Wonder how many years that would get tied up in court. So, why leave again?

      You guys speak of ridiculous theories, it’d be nice if you’d explain yourselves with some factual evidence… Khan estimated to be one of the richest men in the US. His dream was to own an NFL franchise, but this is all about money you say? Do you think he’s going to sell the team to Ed Roski in LA b/c his dream was realized for a pitiful couple of seasons? Maybe you think he’ll move it himself. The problem is, Roski, which is wanting to build the stadium there desires to own the team that comes, not build the stadium b/c he’s an NFL fan and wants somewhere to hang out on Sundays.

      You speak poorly about the city of Jacksonville, like that’s a good reason to move. Explain Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, etc. That’s not a reason, of course and you’d likely be surprised to see how bad the economics are in those cities (as well as others) that could make them real contenders for a move.

  6. avatar Little Boots

    @Pierre: Give me a break, they can get out of that lease by paying a fee and a recurring fine for a few years.

    • avatar Pierre LaRoque

      They are 21st in the league in attendance. They play in a revenue generating stadium. Khan just spend millions on stadium enhancements. There are more enhancements on the books for next year.

      Oh yeah…totally moving.

      • avatar Little Boots

        Hmm, I wonder if the stadium is used for events outside of NFL football? Maybe there are annual events that attract more people than the Jaguars could ever hope?

        Don’t forget improving the Jaguars brand name doesn’t just help fans of the team and supporters in the city, it makes the brand more attractive. Khan is a businessman and will do whatever it takes to make money off his investment, including moving the team to another city.

        • avatar Anthony

          Oh no!!! The Florida-Georgia game gets more fans than Jaguars games!!!

          It’s funny how people cannot accept the reality that the Jaguars actually have fans and they go to games. They are 21st in the NFL in attendance. Sorry, they aren’t moving.


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