The Jacksonville Jaguars appear to be on the mend after a season lost under the tenure of former head coach Urban Meyer. They entered the 2023-24 NFL season as the favorite to repeat as AFC South division champions at football betting sites, suggesting they’ll earn a top-four playoff seed in the American Football Conference.
Replacing Meyer with Doug Pederson has been a great move, ushering in a level of competency not experienced under the prior regime. The revamped offensive scheme has done wonders for quarterback Trevor Lawrence’s development and the team has responded positively to the climate change.
What’s not changed is the lack of Jaguars’ support from regional fans in Duval County. A recent poll that was conducted by the University of North Florida revealed that nearly half of those surveyed would rather the Jaguars leave town than use taxpayer money to renovate EverBank Stadium.
The stadium is owned by the city and is in need of nearly $1 billion in renovations. What’s being proposed is a sports district that would surround the stadium with construction costs totaling $2 billion.
The poll revealed that 51% prefer that the Jagaurs buy the stadium and land and pay for the construction themselves. A third of those who responded were amenable to splitting the cost of renovation with the Khans.
47% of respondents didn’t care if the Jaguars left town due to taxpayers’ refusal to cover the costs.
Now for a reality check. The Jacksonville Jaguars are playing two games in London’s Wembley Stadium this year – the first team to do so in a single season since the league began hosting games in the UK.
The Khan family also owns the professional wrestling promotion All-Elite Wrestling (AEW), which just held a massive event at Wembley.
The Jaguars ownership owns the Fulham FC of the Premier League, located in southwest London. NFL betting sites haven’t created a line on potential destinations, but the London Jaguars would be our top option if we were producing the odds.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has already publicly stated that the league would like to establish a permanent presence in Europe, even floating the idea of an entire division residing overseas.
The eventual expansion of the NFL is inevitable, but the league cannot create an entire division from scratch and grant the winner a top-four seed in the NFL Playoffs for essentially being the best of the worst.
A way to alleviate this issue is to include existing franchises with established rosters. When the National Football League commits to this European division, the Jaguars will almost certainly be a heavy topic of discussion.