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Jaguars must cope with good and bad of NFL controlling London games

Florida Football Insiders



Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars are still reaping the benefits of a tremendous turnaround season that saw them win the division and make the playoffs, and even, win two post season games.

And as we wrote last week, part of that is raising ticket prices, un-tarping seats for the first time in over a decade that will now be available to buy, changing their uniforms, etc.

One thing that will not be different is the Jaguars are once again playing one of their home games in London. The NFL announced in January that the matchup will be with the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles in October.

This is part of a multi-year deal that owner Shad Khan cut with the league years ago. One of the  primary benefits and incentives that Jacksonville has taken advantage of is the game is essentially a sellout in London with the NFL paying the “home” club based off that.

The Jaguars have obviously struggled to come close to selling out games, even with tarp seats, over the past few years. That has been mostly due to a poor product on the field.

Now, that has changed and the team truly has momentum and optimism for the future.

However, the downside is that the league gets to pick the game, and the Eagles would have been an easy sellout and perhaps even, a Sunday night or Monday night prime time game.

And another factor is the “when” that the game is being played on the calendar, too.

As the Florida Times Union wrote about Sunday, the Jags aren’t angry but frustrated that the NFL chose not to honor their request and play the London game during September, when the franchise wants to try to avoid scorching hot Sunday early games. As was laid out in the article, the Jaguars played the Ravens in a September week three game last year, and the previous year. played the Colts in week four (first Sunday in October).

Jacksonville president Mark Lamping told the paper: “Whether the game is played in September or October doesn’t take much difference to our fans over there. [Requesting a September game] is more of an initiative to satisfy our fans locally. But we’re one of 32 teams. We’re not the only team that plays in London, we have responsibilities to the league and the league sets the schedule.”

Again, that’s the negative, as Lamping points out, when the league is in charge of the schedule and when you have to fly 7 hours across the Atlantic to play.

Now, the Jaguars still may end up with a prime time Sunday, Monday or even Thursday night home game in September, anyway. This is in part, because teams like the Patriots, Steelers, and Redskins are still coming to North Florida this season.

That will info will be released later in April with the full league schedule announcement.

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