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2016 Annual Meetings: Focused on London


BOCA RATON – Shad Khan's international eyes aren't wandering.

So, while the NFL is expanding its international presence, the Jaguars' worldly focus won't likely stray from London.

Khan, who long has considered the Jaguars' London initiative critical to long-term stability in Jacksonville, said he welcomed news this week that the NFL – in addition to a regular-season game in Mexico City next season – is exploring regular-season games in Germany and China.

But the Jaguars' owner on Tuesday said the Jaguars' focus internationally remains on playing one designated home game a year at Wembley Stadium in London.

"We've got a commitment in London, but I'm delighted [with news of an expanding NFL international presence] and I think it's the right thing to do," Khan said Tuesday during the NFL 2016 Annual Meetings at Boca Raton Resort.

The Jaguars have played a home game at Wembley each of the last three seasons, and are committed to play one home game per season there through 2020.

Khan and Jaguars President Mark Lamping each have said repeatedly that the revenue from that game – as well as the accompanying expanding international presence – are key to the franchise's long-term financial viability and therefore critical to its stability in Jacksonville.

"Our commitment is London for many, many reasons – to supplement what we're doing in Jacksonville," Khan said.

Khan said he found it "refreshing" that the league-wide perception of regular-season international games had changed so dramatically since the Jaguars first announced their London initiative.

"Three years ago when we were talking about London, it seemed like a crazy idea," Khan said. "Now, playing Mexico, China, Brazil … all of those are real possibilities. I think it's great for the league. What's interesting is there are a lot of volunteers now to play these games.

"I think it's really healthy and it's awesome. There is a huge amount of interest."

The Jaguars will play the Indianapolis Colts in London in 2016, the first time the team has played an AFC South team there after playing San Francisco, Dallas and Buffalo the past three seasons. Houston Texans Owner Bob McNair spoke to Khan this week about the possibility of the two teams playing an AFC South game there in the future.

"That'd be great," Khan said. "We're playing a division rival in the Colts this year, so that could be a possibility for next year."

Also on Tuesday, Khan said groundbreaking on the indoor practice facility adjacent to EverBank Field could begin soon, though he was unsure if it could be complete by the 2016 season. The indoor practice facility is part of a state-of-the-art amphitheater/practice-facility project that is the latest in a series of renovations and improvements to EverBank Field. "I think it will happen very soon," Khan said of the practice-facility ground-breaking." We have the design done. It's really cool and iconic. Our goal is to get it done as soon as possible and have minimal interruptions for the football season."

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