A little over two weeks after the NFL announced that it’s extending its international series through 2025, the league confirmed today that games will be played at London’s Wembley Stadium through at least the 2020 season. As part of the agreement, the Jaguars will continue to play at least one game a year at Wembley through 2020.
According to the NFL’s announcement, the league will also have the option to extend the current deal another five years, through 2025. The Wembley agreement will eventually overlap with the NFL’s deal with a new Tottenham stadium, which is on track to host two games per year beginning in 2018. Once that stadium opens, the league will play at least two games per season at Wembley, and another two on the Tottenham field.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan, who hinted earlier this week that an announcement of this nature was coming on Thursday, would have liked to extend his team’s deal for London games beyond 2020, but said five years “is what the NFL wanted” for now, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (Twitter link).
“Our four-year London initiative has been every bit as rewarding as we anticipated, certainly due in large part to the league’s commitment to the UK and the world class experience that Wembley Stadium has provided the Jaguars, our fans and our partners,” Khan said in a statement. “Our interest in extending our agreement to play a home game each season in London is nothing new. So, we’re very happy to make it official today. This is great news for the Jaguars and the stability of the team in Jacksonville, which has come to embrace London as our home away from home.”
When the NFL first announced the extension of its international series earlier this month, the league indicated that it would explore playing games beyond the UK, perhaps as early as next season. Per O’Halloran (via Twitter), the league is currently focused as Mexico and Germany as the top two countries that could host games within the next few years.