Jaguars' Fans React With Vitriol to Team Taking a Second Home Game to London in 2020
The Jacksonville Jaguars announced Tuesday that the Jacksonville Jaguars would play two home games at Wembley Stadium in London in 2020. Only 37.5% of Jaguars' regular season games will be played in TIAA Bank Field next season.
Most NFL fanbases enjoy eight home games every regular season at a minimum. Now local Jaguars fans are being asked to see their hometown team play 120 minutes less of football. A whole 25% than the home games a typical NFL fanbase gets.
This has, unsurprisingly, been met with a widespread negative reaction from fans publically, but owner Shad Khan said Tuesday during a conference call with media that he actually expected the response to the news to be a positive one.
“I think if you go back when the first game was announced and really historically what that’s done for the city and done for the Jaguars," Khan said. "So, my expectation is that it should be very positive. Everything we’re doing helps the city, helps us, and that’s what you need a small market team to do to get on a competitive footing with all the resources you need to compete with the other big market teams.”
The reaction has of course been anything but positive. Understandably so, losing an unprecedented second home game has led to many to make it clear they don't support the decision.
On social media, fans of the Jaguars have gone on to show many of them don't share the opinion of Khan on the reaction to this news and the fact that the Jaguars will be the first-ever NFL team to play two home games outside of the United States in the same season. It is unprecedented and was met with an unprecedented response.
"I was a Rams fan before being a Jaguars fan and switched allegiances once they left St. Louis because that was home to me. I can feel relieved I didn't choose a team based on geography but I can also relate to the pain the fans in Jacksonville are going through right now," Jaguars' fan Mike Wilson tweeted.
Some said they would not renew season tickets, opting instead to not spend money on a team that is playing 25% fewer home games than a normal NFL team.
The Jaguars' fanbase has been loyal, devout, and more despite the team going 51-109 since 2010 and 38-90 under Khan. They have won more than eight games once since 2010, and have only won more than five games twice under Khan's ownership. The team has made one playoff appearance, which came during its lone double-digit win season in 2017, but the lone positive season was a reflection of how much support the team has when it is actively trying to win games.
In 2018, the Jaguars were 17th in average home game attendance with 66,674 fans per game, a year after being 21st in the NFL with 64,303. This is a jump from the team's previous losing seasons, in which the team was in the bottom third in attendance.
Win games and attendance tends to fix itself. Putting out poor products on the field year after year, as the Jaguars have done, doesn't fix anything, and taking away a whole 25% of home games doesn't appear to either.
Jaguars' fans have not been accepting of the Jaguars' message about losing more of the moments every other team has. To say this isn't justifiable or even correct would be disingenuous.
Every other fanbase will watch 480 minutes of their favorite team in its home in 2020. Jaguars' fans will get only 360, and today they are letting their voices heard about what their team is losing in 2020.