Jaguars in talks over Wembley deal extension

The English Football Association (FA) is in talks with the Jacksonville Jaguars over the possibility of the NFL team playing more games at London’s Wembley Stadium.

The Jaguars have played one ‘home’ game in London every year since 2013 and had been due to play two regular-season games at Wembley in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic led to their cancellation.

Earlier this week, NFL clubs voted to approve measures that will include a new system to allocate international games. Under the new structure, each team will play 17 regular-season games and three pre-season games for the first time this year.

The structure will also ensure that, beginning in 2022, all 32 clubs will play internationally at least once every eight years. The NFL said the scheduling of up to four neutral-site games per year in a country outside the United States will focus initially on Canada, Europe, Mexico, South America and the United Kingdom.

The announcement of the Jaguars’ two regular-season games at Wembley last year led to suggestions that the team could permanently relocate away from its current home in Florida. The Jaguars moved to deny this but it has now emerged that the team is in talks to return to Wembley after the league’s deal with the FA expired last year.

In a statement to Sky Sports, the FA said: “We remain in ongoing, positive discussions with the Jacksonville Jaguars about hosting future games at Wembley Stadium, so are not in a position to comment further.

“The FA maintains good relationships with the NFL and the Jacksonville Jaguars having enjoyed over a decade of hosting games at Wembley Stadium.”

The Jaguars added in a statement: “The Jaguars currently do not have agreements with the NFL or Wembley Stadium to play a home game per season in London.

“Our annual home games in London have strengthened our franchise, helped to forge relationships between Jacksonville and UK businesses, and established the Jaguars as the team to follow and support in London, the UK and throughout Europe.

“For those reasons and many more, we’re hopeful that the Jaguars’ tradition of playing one home game each season in London can continue well into the future. We continue to have discussions with the Football Association and staff at Wembley Stadium, where our experiences have always been excellent.”

The Jaguars are owned by Shahid Khan, who has previously shown an interest in buying Wembley.

The last NFL game at Wembley was held in November 2019, with the Jaguars losing out 26-3 to the Houston Texans. The league also has a deal in place to stage regular-season games at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium until 2025.

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