The Jacksonville Jaguars will be off to London a little earlier next year to face a familiar foe.
The team and the NFL announced Wednesday the Jaguars would kick off the annual UK International Series against division rival Indianapolis on Oct. 3, Week 4 of the season.
The earliest the team previously played overseas was Oct. 25, which happened this year against the Buffalo Bills — their first win in London since the annual trips began in 2013.
It also will be the next opportunity for area business and elected officials to blitz London business executives. One recent win from the annual trips was the announcement last week that Resource Solutions, a London-based international recruitment outsourcing company, would make Jacksonville its next global services center and create 75 jobs.
That decision was finalized during a meeting between company and Jacksonville officials during the economic development trip that accompanies each Jaguars international game.
“I think it was a very successful trip,” said City Council President Greg Anderson. “It leveraged the NFL experience and the Jaguars to give the city a platform to tell its story.”
Anderson said the trips also align with the work Jaguars President Mark Lamping and others in terms of diversifying revenue streams.
The Colts will be the first divisional opponent the Jaguars face at “home” in its games abroad, which have been extended until 2020. By playing the Colts, it leaves local fans slated to see the typical AFC South rivals as well as the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings and an AFC North opponent for next year. The Packers game, especially, was one that was coveted.
Lamping in July told The Florida Times-Union the Packers game would remain in Jacksonville, squashing rumors the historic team — and its national, traveling fan base — would bypass Jacksonville for another decade or so.
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