LONDON – The London experience has been a positive.
As Jaguars Owner Shad Khan sees it, that's true not just for the Jaguars, but for Jacksonville and the team's stability there. And he wants it to stay that way.
Khan, speaking Saturday morning – one day before the Jaguars' second designated home game at London's Wembley Stadium in as many years – covered several topics in an interview with jaguars.com. Among those topics was that he would like to see the team's commitment to London extend beyond the current agreement.
The Jaguars are currently scheduled to play a home game in London each season through 2016.
"I think it's highly likely that we'd be asking the league to extend," Khan said Saturday morning in the Library at 45 Park Lane in downtown London.
Khan said the London agreement not only stabilizes the Jaguars in Jacksonville, but also raises the profile of the city.
"It creates economic growth," Khan said. "I want to improve on the field. I think that's very important, and that's the focus. But other than that, I want to provide a role – a leadership role or whatever role is out there – to help the community."
Khan said while an extension of the agreement would certainly mean the Jaguars playing a home game in London, he said the Jaguars playing a road game in London in addition to that also could be possible.
"We have to see how this one game works out," Khan said. "And quite frankly we have to see, 'Are we able to keep the momentum like the investments we've made in the North End Zone?' They're off to a great start, but are they able to maintain that momentum?"
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Khan said the Jaguars "absolutely" have benefited from London, and the recognition and opportunities created for the city of Jacksonville have been "maybe even a little bit more than expected."
"The trade mission concept, I think, has traction," Khan said. "Ultimately, when it's all said and done, the question is, 'How do we better Jacksonville?' Economic growth, because a rising tide raises all boats."
Khan said while the London game's immediate benefits of supplementing corporate sponsorships and local revenue are important, more important are the jobs created for Jacksonville.
"We saw results of jobs this year and we'll see it next year," Khan said, adding that city leaders and the community have a better understanding of the agreement and focus in London in Year 2. "They get it, especially the city leaders. They understand that London is a very international city. You have to experience it first-hand."