Earlier today the St. Louis Rams announced via Twitter that they would not be playing any home games in London for the 2013 or 2014 seasons. Instead, the team indicates they will be focused on the "First Tier Process in St. Louis."
The Rams announced today that the Club will not play home games in London in 2013-14 to better focus on First Tier Process in St. Louis.— St. Louis Rams (@STLouisRams) August 13, 2012
The move to pull out of playing games in London is no surprise to anyone considering the Rams tenuous relationship with the city of St. Louis, but the move does leave a gap the NFL needs to fill.
According to Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union, the Jaguars would like to be a team considered to play home games in London. President of non-football operations Mark Lamping told Stellino,
We’ve expressed an interest to the NFL in hopefully being one of those teams. We think it will increase the profile of the franchise, and Jacksonville can use it to market the city. What’s good for Jacksonville is good for the Jaguars.
The idea of Jacksonville playing home games in London makes sense for a variety of reasons for both the NFL and the Jaguars.
For the NFL, higher profile games could put the Jaguars on the map. Instead of being a no-name small market team, the Jaguars could use the opportunity to build a celebrated brand, similar to the way the Green Bay Packers are a celebrated franchise despite being in one of the smallest markets in the league.
For the Jaguars, the loss of a home game would help alleviate some of their ticket selling struggles. They are better than some teams in the league at moving tickets, but the team still rarely plays in front of a packed house. With fewer games to sell out, the remaining home games may bring in a few extra fans per game.
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