The NFL takeover of Wembley Stadium concludes this Sunday as the Jacksonville Jaguars host the formidable Dallas Cowboys. However, many fans aren’t expecting the same intensity and excitement as that of the previous Lions vs Falcons game which culminated in a nail-biting victory for the Lions by one solitary point.
This is perhaps because the last Jaguars game ended in a 23-33 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Moreover, of their last 8 games the boys from Jacksonville have only won 1 fixture and that, for any team, does not bode well. However, the future of the Jacksonville Jaguars is not as bleak or demure as their track record would have you believe. Indeed, under the watchful eyes of their owner, Shahid Khan, and the General Manager, David Caldwell, the Jaguars are rumoured to be looking towards London for the future of their team, possibly as early as 2017.
For this struggling team, the move could be the defining feature in their reinvention, providing them with the necessary funding to relaunch their NFL campaign and reassert themselves within the league. The current Wembley fixtures have proven that the British and even European audiences relish the opportunity to see their favourite NFL players in action, with the majority of fixtures completely selling out since 2007.
In addition, with the NFL looking to increase the number of annual Wembley fixtures from 4 to 8 games a year, the demand for more American action in Britain is evident. Of course, where there is demand there will always be someone willing to supply and that, in this instance, could be Khan and his Jaguars.
It could be argued that the fate of the Jacksonville Jaguars relies heavily upon ticket sales of the NFLs return to Wembley in 2015. If sales hit the 330,000 mark this could be the indicator needed to instigate the Jaguars relocation across the pond. Whether the move would be beneficial or whether it will even happen at all is unclear. On one hand, the move could be incredibly profitable for the team as well as giving the British public access to a sport it clearly loves.
Alternatively, the novelty could wear off leaving the Jaguars out of pocket and far from home as with previous integration attempts in Germany. All we can be certain of is that we will be showing all of the action, this Sunday, on the best screens in London.