JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan is making waves with an interview he gave over the weekend in London.
Khan touched on a few issues, such as the importance of keeping at least one home game in London each year for revenue. He also hinted at the need for a new stadium in Jacksonville.
The interview, which was published on Jaguars.com, included details from both Khan and Jaguars President Mark Lamping.
Khan discussed the importance of revenue that the London game generates for the team and one quote specifically raised eyebrows.
“If we are playing a game away, we want to have one mega-experience. That kind of makes up for that, from our viewpoint. If we’re playing more than one, we would want to have a couple or more," Khan said.
That caused some to question if the Jaguars are looking to have more than one home game in London per season. Khan referenced a "mega-experience" as something that could replace a home game at TIAA Bank Field, such as the Rolling Stones, who played at the stadium earlier this year.
News4Jax sports anchor Cole Pepper said he wasn't sure fans would support this.
"Jaguars fans don’t want to feel like they’ve got a part-time team in town here. They just don’t. Once you start talking about two out of six, two out of eight -- two and six in terms of the home games if they take it somewhere else -- I don’t think that’s going to sell," Pepper said.
News4Jax looked at attendance for home games so far this season. The attendance numbers show the London game sells a lot more tickets than the game in Jacksonville. These are some numbers for the five home games so far this season, from Pro Football Reference:
Khan also referenced that the Jaguars are typically near the bottom of the league in terms of local revenue among NFL franchises. Interestingly enough, he compared the Jaguars to three teams that will have new stadiums in 2020: the Los Angeles Chargers, the Los Angeles Rams and the Oakland Raiders. Coincidentally, all those teams are in the process of moving into new cities.
News4Jax asked Brian Hughes, the chief of staff for Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, about that.
"We have had no formal discussions about it. But, obviously, if you look across the league, there’s indicators that we might be, in the next few years or five to 10 years, in a place where that discussion begins," Hughes said.
News4Jax asked Jaguars fans about the possibility of a new stadium.
"No, they’ve put so much money into it since he’s been here, I don’t think we need a new stadium," Jaguars fan Duane Knowles said.
The mayor's office also pointed out that, while a new stadium is years in the future, there is a lot of development that will be happening around the stadium soon. Khan discussed that in the article and said that the development of Lot J could happen as soon as January.
Hughes backed that up when speaking with News4Jax. He said that, as soon as football season is over, there will be a lot of development, trying to make progress on the Lot J development and the removal of the Hart Bridge overpass during the offseason. The Hart Bridge overpass is being removed to make way for development along the waterfront in the area typically known as the shipyards.