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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Feb. 4, 202011:50 AM EST

Jaguars to play two home games in London

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Team President Mark Lamping says the move will improve the franchise’s financial position.

The Jacksonville Jaguars will play two home games at Wembley Stadium in London in 2020.

The news was announced during a telephone conference call with team owner Shad Khan and Jaguars President Mark Lamping.

Lamping said the Jaguars are working to improve its financial standing in the league and it waits for the Lot J and Shipyards projects to develop.

Lamping said the team is entering an “uncertain time” and pointed to the Los Angeles Rams, Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders as teams with new stadiums who are improving their financial positions.

“Our work to create new sources of revenue to help us improve our long-term outlook and commitment to operating a thriving franchise in Jacksonville will continue and never end,” Lamping said in a news release.

“Playing two games in London at Wembley Stadium, where we have outstanding relationships, at least next season and perhaps in future years during construction, will help us bridge the gap between now and when we expect the Lot J development to open. Jacksonville’s potential is unlimited, and I am confident we can realize it, with the Jaguars serving as the catalyst,” he said.

Lamping said season tickets will cost 15% less in 2020 because of the move. The team will use variable pricing for the six home games.

The London games will be played on consecutive Sundays. The team said home games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears in 2020 will be played in Jacksonville. The NFL has released the teams the Jaguars will play, but not the full 2020 schedule.

Lamping said the team will be in a much stronger position with development of the Lot J and the Shipyards projects.

Lot J is an up to $500 million mixed-use development that includes residential, office and hotel space and a Live! Entertainment District.

Lamping said the city has a draft agreement with the city on the Lot J development. He said he expected the completed agreement to  advance to the Downtown Investment Authority in 30 to 60 days. After the approval of the DIA, the plan would need City Council approval.

Mayor Lenny Curry’s administration has proposed $233.3 million in total investment from the city. That includes $208 million toward the development cost for the Live! Entertainment District, infrastructure improvements and a development grant.

The deal also would offer a $25 million Recaptured Enhanced Value grant, which is a partial property tax rebate.

Khan’s Iguana Investments group is the master developer for the Shipyards, the riverfront property west of the stadium near Downtown.

“I want to make it clear that our first priority is winning, and anything we do or say away from that will never be more important than giving Jacksonville a team that wins and the community can be proud to call its own,” Khan said in a news release. “We are committed first and foremost to winning, and that commitment drives me and everyone at the Jaguars every day."

Lamping said the team and city are beginning to evaluate the future of TIAA Bank Field. He said the initial evaluation process could take 12 months, with 36 to 48 months to formulate a plan for the stadium.

"The stadium as it exists today would, in all likelihood, not meet the needs of the city nor the football team 10, 15, 20 years from now," Lamping said. "The key with these types of projects is to get ahead of them. We’re not in a dire situation right now, so we want to get ahead of the process."

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