The Green Bay Packers playing the Jacksonville Jaguars in London in 2016 seemed like a certainty just a couple weeks ago. Now, it’s off.
And it looks like the Jaguars’ interests topped the NFL’s interests.
Jags president Mark Lampling confirmed that the teams’ 2016 matchup will happen in Jacksonville, on Thursday.
“We get the Packers here in Jacksonville so infrequently,” Lamping said. “They have such a national following. We have a lot of people here in Jacksonville that are Jaguars fans but also fans of the traditional NFL teams. So, we look forward to that game being played here in Jacksonville.”
The Jaguars have a deal with the NFL to play one of their home games in London through 2016. The Packers are slated to play in Jacksonville in 2016 and have expressed an interest in London. The league also stood to benefit by having one of their marquee teams play across the pond.
However, Jaguars owner Shad Khan was apparently against that idea from the start, for obvious reasons. The Packers would actually sell out his stadium in Jacksonville.
Still, we figured the NFL would bully the Jags and get its way.
Of course, there’s that contract issue.
It was also widely assumed the Jags would renew their deal with the league to play one home game in London each season, after the current agreement expires. As of now, they haven’t done so.
Perhaps that was their leverage. We get Green Bay at home or no new deal.
No other teams are jumping at the chance to move one of their home games to another country, after all.