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Jaguars Owner Still Wants to Buy Wembley Stadium

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Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts carries Britain's Union Jack as he enters the field before the Jaguars met the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL football game at Wembley Stadium in London, Oct. 27, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Toby Melville

By Evan Weiner |

For those who missed the news of the world, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan’s bid to take over London’s Wembley Stadium is still being reviewed by the English Football Association.

Khan is willing to spend about $800 million to take over the facility. But there are some hurdles to overcome including a request to not sell the naming rights to the facility. That offer has caused people to wonder whether Khan’s Jaguars franchise might be the one that the National Football League could relocate to London, England. The NFL is not expanding so moving a team would be the only option. But there is a long-term lease issue in Jacksonville. Khan’s business is tied up with the city until 2030. Khan can buy his way out of the lease. But that is not happening as of now.

Khan’s Jaguars NFL team will play the Philadelphia Eagles on October 28 at Wembley. Khan isn’t trying to take over Wembley because of his NFL team. He also owns an English Premier club in London, Fulham. Khan claims that there is no plan to move his team to London and is satisfied playing one game a year in London. Meanwhile in London, the English Football Association is scrutinizing Khan’s Wembley proposal. It appears the deal could be done by year’s end. Jacksonville has been a problem franchise nearly since the beginning of the process of granting expansion teams when the NFL decided to add a 29th and a 30th franchise in the early 1990s. Jacksonville’s original proposed ownership group included Jeb Bush and it had some financial problems and there was also a problem of getting stadium finance together to raze the Gator Bowl and rebuild the facility. That was straightened out but the market has not been all that successful by National Football League standards. Khan claims he is not moving but this is London calling.

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.

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