UPDATE: The NFL has officially announced there will be no international games in 2020.
The NFL is going to release the 2020 schedule later this week, on May 9th, to be precise.
While the season is set to begin on time, it's not yet clear to what extent fans will be able to attend NFL games in 2020. Will it be a limited capacity? Will fans be allowed to attend games at all? We're not likely to find those answers out this week.
But on another scheduling front, one near and dear to the hearts of Jaguars' fans, reports have surfaced that, due to the threat of COVID-19, the NFL's international series of games will be moved back to the US in 2020. Late last week, the Daily Mail, a UK based publication, shared that the NFL is expected to cancel their trips across the pond for 2020, which will be a major financial blow to Tottenham and the FA. Just a few minutes ago, Adam Schefter shared a report that essentially said the same thing: "NFL plans to release its preseason and regular-season schedule later this week, but one league source said Sunday that he doesn't think any international games (are) coming this year."
The NFL confirmed the rumors on Monday, saying:
“The Cardinals, Falcons, Jaguars and Dolphins had all previously announced that they would be home teams for International series games in 2020. These teams will now play all of their home games this season at their home stadia in the United States.”
This all means that not one but BOTH of the Jaguars "home games" that were scheduled to be played in London in 2020 will be coming home to Jacksonville. Again, we don't yet know if and when fans will be allowed to attend NFL games again. But if fans are permitted to go to games in some capacity this fall, this will be a massive win for local Jaguars' fans.
Of course, it's a substantial loss for Shad Khan and Jaguars as an organization, at least in terms of revenue. The Jaguars make boatloads (literally?) of money when they travel to London, and that added cash flow counts towards their local income. According to team president Mark Lamping, the added revenue helps make the Jaguars more viable and sustainable in Jacksonville long term. But let's face the facts, the Jaguars are viable in Jax. Just look at Shad Khan's ever-growing bank account and the teams' estimated value, which has steadily risen since Khan purchased the club from Wayne Weaver for $760 million in December of 2011. The team is now worth $2.325 billion, according to Forbes. That ranks them at 23rd amongst NFL franchises and 49th amongst all sports franchises worldwide (as of 2019).
Stay tuned as we learn more about the Jaguars' upcoming schedule, and how fans will be able to consume the 2020 NFL season.
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