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wpr  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, August 21, 2012 7:32:31 PM(UTC)
If they have trouble selling out games in Jacksonville and the owner and NFL is impressed by a city with 8 million people why not permanently relocate to LA? All they would have to do is to slid KC into the AFC South. They are closer to Indy, TN (Nashville) and Houston than Jacksonville is.

Quote:
The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be England's team.

The NFL and the Jaguars announced Tuesday that the small-market franchise will play one home game in London for four consecutive seasons beginning in 2013 - a step the team believes will broaden its fan base and take some pressure off locals who have mostly failed to fill the stands in recent years.

''I passionately believe the big growth now is going to come from overseas,'' owner Shad Khan said. ''We've got to go where we can leverage and take advantage of some of those things. You've got to fish in ponds where you've got fish in there. We're going to a pond where there are no fishermen.''

The Jaguars will play at historic Wembley Stadium, which has hosted one NFL game annually since 2007.

''We want to create an identity, a bold, ambitious franchise that is aggressive and forward-thinking on the field and away from the field,'' Khan said. ''We want to be the kind of franchise players want to belong to, sponsors want to be part of, and Jacksonville is proud of. ... The key point is to sell Jacksonville to the world. We are a well-kept secret, but after today, that's not going to be the case.''

By all accounts, the Jaguars are the NFL's least popular team. They rank at or near the bottom of the league in website hits as well as Twitter and Facebook interactions. Although Jacksonville is the largest city in the continental United States in terms of land mass, it is home to just 1.3 million people - and that includes several surrounding areas; London alone has 8 million people.

Missing the playoffs in 10 of 12 seasons has made attracting fans a problem in Jacksonville. The team used to pack the stands regularly, even though it plays in a stadium built to house large crowds for the annual Florida-Georgia college football game. But in 2005, the Jaguars decided to cover up nearly 10,000 seats with tarps to reduce capacity and limit television blackouts. Even though the Jaguars haven't blacked out a home game since 2009, they still have struggled to fill EverBank Field.

Playing an annual game in London will reduce season-ticket prices by 10 percent, possibly making the remaining package a more affordable and enticing option.

Reaction, though, was mixed among the fan base. Some supported the decision and others questioned the team's motives. After all, if the Jaguars become England's team and continue to have issues back home, what's to stop the NFL from moving them across the pond for good?

''You can't fault them if anyone is mad about this,'' kicker Josh Scobee said. ''We can only ask for their support in going over there and ask them to watch it on TV.''

The St. Louis Rams had been scheduled to play in London in 2013 and 2014, but they pulled out last week, citing a need to focus on lease negotiations and ease fan discontent.

The Jaguars scooped up the available games - plus some.

''It's just good for the Jaguar brand,'' tight end Marcedes Lewis said. ''It's exciting to go over there and put ourselves on the map worldwide. When I got drafted in 2006, there were some of my family members who didn't even know who the Jaguars were.''

Players recognized the major pitfalls - traveling overseas and giving up home games - but no one knocked the decision publicly.

''We know football is the greatest sport in the states, so for fans in other areas who don't get to watch it first hand, it's good for them to experience and see what we all brag about,'' cornerback Rashean Mathis said.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell joined Khan for the announcement, which fittingly came on a gray, rain-soaked day in Jacksonville - typical London weather. Goodell reaffirmed his commitment to expanding to multiple games in England and eventually establishing a franchise there.

''The big issue for us was finding a community that understood that this could be great for the community, wrap their arms around it and say this is a win-win situation,'' Goodell said.

Khan said the Jaguars are committed to playing all four years at Wembley, even if the team becomes a Super Bowl contender and a hot ticket in Jacksonville.

''I think if you make a commitment, you stick with it,'' said Khan, who bought the team in November for $770 million. ''To me, we're all in.''

Khan added that he would consider playing more games overseas after the deal expires in 2016. He also acknowledged that the payoff probably won't be seen immediately. He suggested that Londoners could fall in love with the Jaguars and decide to visit Jacksonville regularly. The ultimate goal, though, would be to have European companies spend millions in Jacksonville.

''If somebody builds a container port, if somebody makes an investment out of Germany or England or Netherlands and they chose Jacksonville, that would be a huge return from my viewpoint,'' Khan said. ''You could have people come here - we've got beautiful golf, weather - instead of vacationing in Miami or some place and they come up here and watch a game or two. That would be a huge return for me.''

Coach Mike Mularkey and cornerback Aaron Ross have made the trip before - Ross with the New York Giants in 2007, and Mularkey with the Dolphins that year - and both praised the fans and the experience they gained from making the trip.

''I know Shad's been trying to have people recognize what's going on here in this town,'' Mularkey said. ''I think this is a great opportunity to get it. Obviously going overseas, that's making a statement.''



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Pack93z  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, August 22, 2012 8:39:19 AM(UTC)
The NFL has an overseas agenda.. be damned if logistics make it very difficult on the teams.

I understand them trying to grow the game overseas.. but I don't know that this is the proper way of doing it.. scheduling more games abroad.

I guess they have to project out what 20 years to try and keep the pockets of the owners full.. because we know salaries aren't going to recess.

On LA.. a couple of viewpoints that I would have.

They have tried that market a couple different times.. and it had its own share of attendance issues.

Couple that with probably the most violent fan bases out there.. makes it a concern. Look no further than the Dodger stadium issues. Raiders vs Niners. Several different cases revolving those fan bases. If I am an owner of the franchise, do I really want to deal with having to deal with the fallout of those types of incidents?

I agree on paper it makes a ton of sense to locate a franchise in one of the biggest markets.. especially with a under performing market like Jacksonville.. but I think there are some concerns about LA that make it less appealing.

Additionally.. I think the NFL is dragging its feet on filling LA so it can keep pressure on other markets in CA..
Methodikal  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, August 22, 2012 8:55:46 AM(UTC)
Didn't we have something like NFL Europe that failed or was at least shut down? I think it's a mistake to try an have NFL games overseas. Create a UK league or something.
flep  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, August 22, 2012 9:04:14 AM(UTC)
Right for what it's worth from a born and bred Brit

The NFL is a business.

It likes wonga

It gets plenty of wonga when it comes to the UK.

I went to the Game in 2007 and enjoyed every minute of it.

The NFL Europe failed because it was 3rd rate football at best.

The Packers are due to play away at the Jags in 2016 so I want this to succeed as it will probably be my only chance to see the Packers live (If we are chosen as the away team that year!!!)


Oh and we do have leagues in the UK.

I played football for the Merseyside Nighthawks and we were British Champions in 1992.
Zero2Cool  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, August 22, 2012 9:18:31 AM(UTC)
I'd rather see a World League or NFL Europe that emulated the Minors of MLB. A place for players to tune their skills and where old stars go to end their career. :)

The NFL expanding over seas will only delude the product. The NFL would be better with only 30 teams and increased roster size.
wpr  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, August 22, 2012 4:22:07 PM(UTC)
Pack93z said: Go to Quoted Post
The NFL has an overseas agenda.. be damned if logistics make it very difficult on the teams.

I understand them trying to grow the game overseas.. but I don't know that this is the proper way of doing it.. scheduling more games abroad.

I guess they have to project out what 20 years to try and keep the pockets of the owners full.. because we know salaries aren't going to recess.

On LA.. a couple of viewpoints that I would have.

They have tried that market a couple different times.. and it had its own share of attendance issues.

Couple that with probably the most violent fan bases out there.. makes it a concern. Look no further than the Dodger stadium issues. Raiders vs Niners. Several different cases revolving those fan bases. If I am an owner of the franchise, do I really want to deal with having to deal with the fallout of those types of incidents?

I agree on paper it makes a ton of sense to locate a franchise in one of the biggest markets.. especially with a under performing market like Jacksonville.. but I think there are some concerns about LA that make it less appealing.

Additionally.. I think the NFL is dragging its feet on filling LA so it can keep pressure on other markets in CA..


pack I was some what factious when I said LA. But that said-
I know LA has failed but so has Jacksonville.
As far as violence,isn't Jacksonville one of the higher crime cities in the US. Just a little smaller base.

Pack93z  
#7 Posted : Friday, August 24, 2012 1:21:36 PM(UTC)
wpr said: Go to Quoted Post
pack I was some what factious when I said LA. But that said-
I know LA has failed but so has Jacksonville.
As far as violence,isn't Jacksonville one of the higher crime cities in the US. Just a little smaller base.




Could be.. don't know for sure.

But with the LA part.. it seems to have rolled into the sporting events more prevalent. And if I am an owner with a choice of where to park my franchise.. not sure my vote would be for LA.


PR nightmare. Increases in security liability. Just wouldn't be my choice.


I thought if any team was LA bound.. it was the Vikings. I am glad they didn't move.

I just don't see it as a move that fixes the situation of not selling out games... in other words I don't see LA filling the stadium year in and out.

Formo  
#8 Posted : Friday, August 24, 2012 2:10:54 PM(UTC)
As a non-Jaguar fan, and as a general NFL fan, I think this idea is great.
GermanGilbert  
#9 Posted : Friday, August 24, 2012 2:40:57 PM(UTC)
flep said: Go to Quoted Post
The NFL Europe failed because it was 3rd rate football at best.


The NFL Europe didn't fail at all, it was just taken away from the fans. Frankfurt Galaxy had more attendends than 90% of the german 2nd division of soccer have. So was Rhine Fire. The NFL didn't want it anymore, so it be.

The NFL Europe (own league) was a great idea, bringing the Jaguars in for 4 games a year is a bad one. It's up to us european guys to bring it to an end. Don't go to the games and it will end very quickly. The NFL belongs to the US, for european football fans who want to watch the game bring back the NFLE!

nyrpack  
#10 Posted : Sunday, August 26, 2012 3:16:43 PM(UTC)
there a doomed franchise in fla. , i see them in la in a couple of yrs. !!
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