There will be no international games in the NFL this season.
Announced today, the National Football League has stated there will not be any international games played this season, all games will be heading back to the United States. This includes the two “home” games the Jaguars were slated to play this season, now the team will likely play eight games in Jacksonville, barring a cancellation or delay of the season entirely.
Due to the on-going pandemic caused by the coronavirus that has plagued the world as we know it, the NFL and their team executives made the decision to belay any international games that were scheduled to go on, including one game in Mexico City and four games in London.
NFL update on 2020 season schedule.— NFL UK (@NFLUK) May 4, 2020
“After considerable analysis, we believe the decision to play all our games domestically this season is the right one for our players, our clubs, and all our fans in the US, Mexico and UK,” said NFL Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Growth Officer Christopher Halpin.
“We greatly appreciate the support of our governmental and stadium partners in Mexico and the United Kingdom, who all agree with this decision, and we look forward to returning for games in both countries in the 2021 season.
“We also thank our incredible fans in those territories for their passionate support of the NFL. We will continue to serve them through our outstanding media partners and by being active supporters of both grassroots football and COVID-19 relief efforts in Mexico and the UK.”
While it is not clear whether or not the Jaguars, or any franchise, will end up playing all eight home games this season, if the Jaguars were to do so in Jacksonville it would be the first time since 2012 the team has played all eight home games in their home city.
The Jaguars began their London initiative in 2013, and have played one games internationally each season thereafter. Earlier this year, the Jaguars and Jaguars owner Shad Khan announced the team’s plans to play two “home” games back-to-back, which would have been unprecedented.
Now, due to health and safety reasons, no teams will be playing internationally this year.
Shortly after the NFL announced the cancellation of international play, the Jaguars announced a new season ticket holder “flex plan”, which includes the two “additional” games to be played at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville this upcoming season.
“Our ticket sales and service team members, along with others in the organization, have spent the last few weeks checking in with all of our season ticket members,” said Jaguars President Mark Lamping.
“The most common emotion we’ve sensed is one of cautious optimism. Everyone is eager to get back to football and their own game day traditions, but we understand that the unknown has made it difficult for many of our season ticket members to commit. We hope these new options give our fans both flexibility and peace of mind that the Jaguars family is here for them now and always.”
“While we know our UK fans will be disappointed, we know First Coast fans will embrace the chance to see their team play its full home schedule in Jacksonville in 2020,” Lamping said.
Current Jaguars season ticket members will have the option to include both games in their membership, while new season ticket memberships will include all 10 home games — eight regular season and two preseason.
The league is set to announce the schedule for this upcoming season later this week.