The Jaguars will now play two home games in back-to-back weeks in London as the team announced the move is about making more money for the franchise.
Jacksonville Jaguars fans got another lesson in the “business” of football on Tuesday when it was announced by team owner Shad Khan the franchise and the NFL have reached an agreement play two home games back-to-back at Wembley Stadium in London in 2020.
While the economic impact will help the Jaguars – one of the NFL’s smallest markets, the fan base felt the sting of not being able to once again see another football game in TIAA Bank Field.
“Make no mistake: Winning is the top priority,” Khan said via Jaguars.com. “Everything we’re striving to do for the franchise and the city is about winning and building a franchise that expects to win consistently.
“We’re not going to rest until we get there, but obviously that doesn’t erase what we need to do here away from the game to create and generate the revenues and be everything we can be here in Jacksonville. We’re doing it in a way that benefits the city.
“Everything we’ve done has always been with the city in mind.”
That’s a hard pill to swallow for fans who enjoyed the team’s success with a trip to the AFC Championship Game but since have only witnessed 11 wins in the past two seasons. And with that, several key players from their last winning season have been released or traded.
The Jaguars front office, which now consists of Trent Baalke, who was also hired as the Director of Player Personnel on Tuesday, is on a short leash to repair the damage done from two years of poor management, coaching, and player development.
The Jaguars have decisions to make in regard to veteran players and a very limited budget at the moment. There is little to spend from the salary cap, which means high-profile players may be asked to take a pay cut, restructure their deal or be released to make room for improvements at several key positions.
“The Jaguars, who have played one game a year in London since 2013, will play the two home London 2020 games on to-be-announced back-to-back weeks,” John Oehser wrote. “Jaguars President Mark Lamping said the dates will be announced when the league announces the 2020 schedule in April.”
While there are no dates set for the games across the pond, what we do know is the home games with Chicago and Pittsburgh will be played here in Jacksonville. The Jaguars have lost their last two games in London, falling 24-18 to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018 and then 26-3 to the Houston Texans in Week 9 of the NFL season in 2019.
To compensate for the loss of another game in Jacksonville, Laming announced there have been some modifications to ticket prices for season ticket holders.
“He also announced the team is introducing for the first time variable pricing for season-ticket holders, with preseason games reduced by 50 percent and “prime” games priced higher than other games,” Oehser wrote.
“Lamping said the result is a 15 percent overall reduction in price for season-ticket members.”
Jacksonville will face Tennessee, Houston, Indianapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Miami.