The NFL is working very hard to expand the reach of America’s most popular sport around the world. Once as obscure in Western Europe as cricket is here, the NFL boasts roughly 20 million fans in Europe, a number bigger than the population of the Netherlands.
There have been thoughts of moving an NFL team to London, where the majority of the NFL games in Europe have been played. And, there’s even a stadium tailor-made for it, as the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is built with American football in mind.
One team that has been rumored over the past decade to be moving to London is the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars play in one of the smallest markets in the NFL, with two other NFL teams in the state and another close by in the Atlanta Falcons.
Their owner, Shahid Khan, is one of only three owners who was not born in the United States, as he was born in Pakistan. And, the Jacksonville Jaguars have branched out overseas quite significantly, having played 9 games in London, the most of any team.
That’s going to increase this year, as the Jaguars are set for two more games in London this year, the NFL announced Wednesday.
Full NFL international schedule:
Week 4: Falcons vs. Jaguars (London)
Week 5: Jaguars vs. Bills (Tottenham)
Week 6: Ravens vs Titans (Tottenham)
Week 9: Dolphins vs. Chiefs (Frankfurt)
Week 10: Colts vs. Patriots (Frankfurt)
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) May 10, 2023
Yes, the Jaguars will be spending two weeks in London, the first NFL team to do so. This is raising some eyebrows.
Jaguars become the first team to play two games in London in the same season. One is part of their multiyear agreement to have one "home" game per year there, the other is as the designated road team.
Obviously, Shad Khan, who also owns Fulham FC, is deeply invested over there. https://t.co/3ifq7dBMCz
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 10, 2023
Is the NFL setting up to just move the Jaguars to London? As of Week 5 they'll have played there 11 times since the international series started. ELEVEN.
— Jeff Nowak (@Jeff_Nowak) May 10, 2023
How many years till the Jaguars move to London?
— Chase Vernon (@ff_intervention) May 10, 2023
Personally, I think it’s a long shot for the Jacksonville Jaguars or any other team to move to London due to travel logistics. But, I think the NFL would like to make it work.
The full NFL schedule release will be on Thursday at 8PM.