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Jaguars will play in London in four year deal
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Jaguars will play in London in four year deal

Jaguars will play in London in four year deal
Photo Credit: Kevin Rincon
Jags set for ESPN's Monday Night Football against the Ravens.

Jaguars will play in London in four year deal

The Jacksonville Jaguars will play a regular season game in London each of the next four seasons, beginning in 2013.

We're told trips to the games for fans and partners will be part of the team's plan for the NFL's International Series. 

We expect to learn more about the games, and the impact for fans at home, at a news conference at 2pm today.

Jaguars owner Shad Khan and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will discuss the agreement at the news conference.

Khan said last year he wanted to create an international fan base for the Jaguars. 

"The NFL is going to be developing an international fan base. Why shouldn't it be the Jaguars?"  Khan said in December.  "In all honesty, internationally, they don't know the difference between the Jaguars and the Steelers."

Khan said the reason outgoing owner Wayne Weaver had been reluctant to play in London was because of "moveophobia," the fear that fans would take it as a sign the franchise was in jeopardy of relocating. Khan is so confident things will work in Jacksonville that he has no concerns about playing overseas.

"I'm very open," he said last year. "I think it would serve Jacksonville well to play a game or two overseas, to get the name Jacksonville out. If you look at some of the international Premier League teams, they have a huge fan following overseas in the Middle East, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, etc.

"I think the NFL, in the long run, will probably be doing something like that. Why shouldn't we be one of the flag carriers?"

Although the Jaguars haven't blacked out a home game since 2009, they have struggled to fill EverBank Field the past two seasons, often needing to find creative ways to sell tickets to keep games on local television.

Playing in London or elsewhere would lower season-ticket prices and possibly improve the chances of enticing new fans in a tough economy.

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