JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Scott from Wichita, MS
I don't get it. There will always be teams in the bottom quartile of local revenue.
I have gotten this question often in recent days, and it's fair: Because Jacksonville is a small market – perhaps the NFL's smallest market – fans wonder why Jaguars Owner Shad Khan insists on not being among the NFL's lowest-revenue teams. The basic principle here is no NFL owner and no businessman – i.e., no one in Khan's situation – is going to be content being last in that situation. That's certainly true if he wishes his team to remain competitive and healthy – on and off the field – over the long haul. NFL teams near the league's bottom in revenue over the long haul often have trouble keeping up on the field with teams near the top in revenue because the facilities often lag behind and the owners become unwilling and unable to pay signing bonuses – up-front money – required to acquire free agents and retain their own players. No team and no owner should be content to be last in local revenue — and Khan won't be content in that area, either. Bottom line: Yes, there always will be teams in the bottom quartile of revenue; as Khan sees it, the Jaguars needn't be content to be among them.
Bill from Jacksonville
How many games can Shad Khan take away from the citizens of Jacksonville before they're no longer the "Jacksonville" Jaguars? Looks to make like they have every intention of finding out, and they don't plan on stopping at two. Just leave already.
That's not the intention. The idea of developing Lot J, the Shipyards and other sources of revenue is so that the Jaguars need London less.
Peter from Norcross, GA
The move to an additional home game at this time is odd. Two questions: 1) Has the team/league ever considered the Jaguars playing two games in London in back-to-back weeks as a home team and away team? That would be easier for this fan base to take. 2) When does the team play eight home games again in Jacksonville?
The Jaguars will play two home games in London as opposed to a home and away game there because they get a substantial amount of revenue from a "home" game there and comparatively little revenue from an "away" game. As far as when the team will play eight regular-season games in Jacksonville again … likely not in the next two or three years – until future projects including Lot J and Shipyards are completed and thriving.
Carlos Moshe from Mexico City, Mexico
Do you think it would be a good idea to make the London games the first two home games on the schedule? That would solve the scorching-hot stadium issue and guarantee the attendance for the remaining six by avoiding the extreme heat in Jax during September.
I do think it would be a good idea to play the London games in September. The team also believes this, but this decision largely is up to the NFL.
So, explain how Weaver could make it work for 20 years in Jax??
He didn't. The Jaguars thrived for their first four or five years financially, with a major reason being they initially were No. 2 in the NFL in local revenue because of the stadium deal between the city and team. Over the final decade that former owner Wayne Weaver owned the team – before selling to Khan in 2011 – the Jaguars gradually slipped in local revenue as other teams in larger markets moved into new, state-of-the-art, revenue-producing stadiums.
Ralph from Ponte Vedra, FL
Two home games in London, eh? That will clearly go over very well with the local fan base. Is it worth having financial stability to see 75 percent of the games at home?
For at least a year, yes.
Seth from Denver, CO
I don't live in Jacksonville, so all my games are "away" games, but after the news about two home games in London, I'm hanging it up. I'd have been OK with a one home, one away, back-to-back schedule in London, but after 21 years of being a fan of the team, this is too much. I'm done.
You're not the only person who feels this way. Here's hoping your decision is an emotional, short-lived one. Here's understanding if it's not.
Tudor from Jacksonville
So how is it that Tampa, which has a much smaller population, equally small market, and an equally perpetually crappy team doesn't need to play games in London to sustain the franchise?
Tampa is not an equally small market.
Steve from Nashville, TN
For clarity, the specific reason the Jaguars will be playing two consecutive home games away from Jacksonville is because Lot J will be torn up during that time and will not be useable?
That's a factor, but the primary reason for two games is to increase local revenue and keep it at a competitive level until Lot J is complete, at which time the revenue of Lot J will help the local-revenue situation.
Chris from Mandarin, FL
Doesn't Shad Khan understand that bringing an additional home game to London may in fact decrease the number of fans in Jacksonville going to games rather than increasing demand for less games total.
Yes, that was considered.
Jaginator from (formerly of) Section 124
I don't expect you to agree with me. But I've been saying (for years) that if ONE game in London is more profitable than the commensurate game in Jax, then why wouldn't TWO games be even more profitable? And if TWO games in London are more profitable, then why wouldn't you have ALL your home games in London?? You can point all day to the investments that Khan's made in Jax. But the proof is in the empirical evidence. If every London game is more profitable than a game in Jax, why would I (as an owner) not want to move ALL my games there???
The intention is not to gradually increase games in London. The hope is that Lot J, the Shipyards and other initiatives allow them to decrease.
Richard from Starke, FL
"Winning would undoubtedly help the bottom line, but not enough that the team wouldn't have to find creative, outside-the-box ways to increase revenue." How do they know this? Did I miss a few winning seasons somewhere?
The Jaguars won in 2017. They had essentially as good a year as they could possibly have the next year in terms of total revenue, and that was a year when they sold out about 90 percent of their inventory. The revenue that year was better than before, but not enough to make up ground in total revenue – and certainly not enough to project being enough as more and more teams enhance their own revenue streams. They saw the results. They projected the numbers. The belief is they need more outside-the-box revenue streams to maintain pace with the rest of the league. That's it. That's the reasoning. I'm sure we will continue discussing this and arguing all angles, but that's the why.
George from Harrisburg, PA
John, my question is this: Has the league stipulated that the Jaguars will play in London back-to-back Sundays or would it be any two Sundays throughout the season? To make two separate trips would really tough on the team.
It will be back-to-back games.
Mark from Archer, FL
John hear me out on this. Everything Khan is doing is not for the Jags to keep them here. All the new projects going on like Lot J etc. His companies are having a hand in building them, so he is making money on that. He is probably going to own part of everything built so he makes money on that. He is not doing it for the Jags and to keep the Jags here; he is using the Jags and Jacksonville to make a lot more money. Now it is two games in London; soon it will be even more. Let us stop pretending Khan is sinking his own money into all this just to keep the Jaguars in Jacksonville. He is keeping the Jaguars in Jacksonville until all these projects are finished and he has made a ton of money off them. Then move on from the city.
I heard you out. This is not the intention and it is not reality as I understand it. You're approaching this from the angle that Khan is looking for an exit plan. The reality is he's looking for ways to make the Jaguars work in Jacksonville. Period. If you choose to believe what you believe, I can't control it and I probably can't change your mind. As Khan is fond of saying: "Actions, not words." In that sense, I suppose time will tell.
Cristiano from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Everything is your fault when it's wrong. But will you get any credit when it eventually is a success?
Why in the world would that happen?