The Jaguars are going international, Wembley style.
With a goal of raising the profile of the franchise and the community, Jaguars owner Shad Khan along with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday announced that the Jaguars will play one game in the United Kingdom in each of the next four regular seasons.
The Jaguars will play a home game in the United Kingdom in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 in London's historic Wembley Stadium, Goodell and Khan announced Tuesday.
The date and opponent of the 2013 game will be announced later.
"The Jacksonville Jaguars will be a bold and ambitious NFL franchise," Khan said in a press release issued before a press conference at the University Club in Jacksonville.
Khan since purchasing the Jaguars in early January has spoken of developing the Jaguars not only locally and regionally, but internationally. The four-year agreement is in keeping with growing the team's brand globally, he said.
Khan said the agreement also will raise Northeast Florida's international profile.
"We're appreciative of the support from the Jacksonville business community to make this a reality and winning proposition for everyone," he said. "This is a priceless opportunity to share the business, tourism and lifestyle story of Jacksonville with international audiences, and I know it will give the Jaguars a unique and powerful identity within the league and beyond."
Goodell said the commitment by the Jaguars represents a "major step forward" for the NFL's "international efforts."
"We have had a tremendously positive reaction to our sport in the U.K. and we're excited that the Jaguars are seizing this opportunity to raise the profile for the team as well as the Jacksonville community," he said. "The NFL is committed to working with Shad Khan and the Jaguars in every respect to help them grow their brand and fan base through the NFL International Series and the many opportunities these games will offer."
On October 11, 2011, NFL owners approved a resolution authorized the league to schedule regular-season games in the U.K. in each of the next five years, including determining the number of games per season, the venue and the competing teams.
All clubs were permitted to volunteer to play at least one regular-season game per year as a home team in the U.K. on an annual basis for up to five years, and the Jaguars' proposal was selected.
In addition to the Jaguars' 2013 game in London, the league is working to add a second game in the U.K. next year, with the intention of finalizing details in the coming months.
The 2012 NFL schedule features the St. Louis Rams hosting the New England Patriots at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, October 28. All 65,000 placed on sale to date having sold out and the remaining tickets being made available to fans in September.