Shahid Khan determined to make London a permanent part of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ identity
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan says he wants the UK to always form a part of the team’s identity and vowed that London’s team is “just getting started”.
A decade on from becoming the first - and so far only - NFL team to make a multi-year commitment to play regular season games across the Atlantic, the Jags are preparing for their ninth clash in the capital.
Doug Pederson's men host the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon at Wembley - a venue Khan considers their "home away from home" and previously tried to purchase from the Football Association.
The Jags owner says their first game under the arch since 2019 is "going to be special" for a team that earlier this year committed to playing at Wembley each season through to 2024.
"Our goal is for London and the UK to always be a part of the Jacksonville Jaguars identity," Khan told the PA news agency. "This is nothing new.
"We never intended London to be an experiment. We were committed to London as our home away from home from the moment we made a four-year commitment that started in 2013.
"We've renewed twice and now we're back at Wembley, which also plays a major part in our international profile.
"Which teams appear in London is ultimately up to the league, but we've been clear in our commitment to play a home game in London every year.
"For all the progress we've made developing our brand and fan base, it's only been 10 years. We're just getting started."
Khan owns Premier League side Fulham as well as the Jags and has always been impressed, but not surprised, by the local support.
Such backing he says will this weekend translate into league records for attendance and gross ticket revenues for an NFL game in the capital after the team assumed operational responsibility.
"London has always been exceptionally supportive of the Jaguars," Khan said. "It's just really coming to life at a whole new level this year back at Wembley."
Sunday will be a first taste of Wembley for many Jags players and Khan says it won't take them long to understand once they walk out of the tunnel on game day why they keep coming back.
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Outside linebacker Josh Allen is among those to have played under the arch before and is excited to be back in London, having played at Wembley in 2019 and won in the capital last year.
"As a team we're always excited to go out there," Allen told PA a year on from ending a 20-game losing streak by beating the Miami Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
"Last year we won a big game out there and that was an exciting moment for us and the fans out there. I think it's going to be a great game. We're excited about it.
"We're excited about the match-up, not just about being in London but excited about playing that team out there."
The Jags will be hoping for a big win after returning to London with a bang on Thursday night, when Noel Gallagher performed on Khan's super yacht Kismet at his annual Thursday evening party.
"We started this journey 10 years ago and it's been an unbelievable success," Khan added. "Enriching and rewarding.
"The upside to our local revenue stream has been crucial, but over that time we created a fan base that continues to grow in numbers and the passion they have for the team.
"We have UK-based commercial partners. We have a full-time, fully committed staff in London that works hard to make the Jaguars part of the overall sports landscape in the UK.
"We're London's (NFL) team, but not just because we say we are. It's because of the commitment by a lot of people, including our fans in the UK and throughout Europe, to make it so."