The Jacksonville Jaguars today announced that the Jaguars will play two of their home games at Wembley Stadium over consecutive Sundays in London in 2020, making them the first team in NFL history to play two home games outside of the United States in the same regular season.
During the 2020 season, the team will touchdown in London to play an additional home game to the one international match-up they have traditionally played as host in recent seasons. This move demonstrates a major step forward in the franchise’s ongoing commitment to the UK fanbase.
Owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Shahid Khan, said:
“The ability to play two home games, back to back, at Wembley Stadium over this season will further entrench the Jaguars’ popularity in London and throughout the UK during a time when the popularity of the NFL continues to grow rapidly in Europe and elsewhere beyond the United States.”
“We’re privileged to be the first team in NFL history to play two home games in London during a single season and plan to make the most of it on game days and every day of the year. We’re really looking forward to deepening our relationship with London and the UK as a whole, and would also like to thank our fans in the UK who have been phenomenal ever since our first visit, seven years ago.””
While the opponents for the games to be played in Wembley Stadium have not been determined, the Jaguars confirmed that their home games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears in 2020 will not be in London. The teams for the remaining London games as well as the dates are expected to be announced in April.
London Mayor, Sadiq Khan embraced the unprecedented move as further evidence that London is indeed open. “London is the sporting capital of the world, so I am absolutely delighted that the Jacksonville Jaguars have committed to playing two of their home games in our city from this year. The Jags have captured the imagination of Londoners and fans come from all over the UK and Europe to sample the incredible sporting action and unique atmosphere of the NFL. This is another major coup for our great city – and shows once again that London is open for world-class sporting events.”
Mark Burrows, Chief Operating Officer at The Football Association, said: “This is great news for NFL, and in particular Jaguars fans in the UK, and we are excited to host many thousands of passionate supporters at our world-class venue later this year. Wembley Stadium is an iconic venue that hosts the biggest and best events and since our first NFL game in 2007 the fixtures have become an important part of the stadium’s history. We look forward welcoming the Jacksonville Jaguars for unprecedented back-to-back games in London this year and continuing our relationship with the NFL that has seen more than 1.9 million fans attend the 23 games we have hosted to date.”
The Jaguars’ commitment to the UK goes far beyond the field. The team support a wide range of dedicated UK initiatives for every level – from their grassroots programme, JagTag, that is played by over 67,000 children aged 11 to 18 years through to their three-day residential training camp, The Jaguars Academy, hosted by elite-level American Football coaches and legends such as Mark Brunell and Tony Boselli (pictured above).