The Jacksonville Jaguars have announced that they will play one regular-season NFL "home" game at Wembley each year from 2013 to 2016.
Last week, the St Louis Rams announced that they had dropped plans to play at Wembley in 2013 and 2014, due to concerns over discontent among their supporters and the need to improve their own home, the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams are still scheduled to play the New England Patriots at Wembley on 28 October this year.
Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, said: "Our goal is to continually grow the game, and this commitment by the Jacksonville Jaguars represents a major step forward in our international efforts. We have had a tremendously positive reaction to our sport in the UK."
Shad Khan, the owner of the Jaguars, said: "We want to create an identity, a bold ambitious franchise that is aggressive, forward thinking on the field and away from the field."
The Jaguars, who play in the AFC South, entered the NFL as an expansion franchise in 1995. They have struggled in recent seasons, last recording a winning regular-season record in 2007, when they lost a divisional play-off to the Patriots.
The Jaguars' home stadium, the 67,000-seater EverBank Field, is often less than full for NFL games; Wembley seats 90,000. The NFL, however, claims to have a "current fan base of 11 million" in the UK, "including more than two million avid fans". A league press release said all the 65,000 tickets so far made available for the Rams v Patriots match on 28 October had been sold; the remaining tickets will be made available in September.
The Rams and Patriots will play the sixth annual NFL International Series game. The first such fixture, in 2007, saw the New York Giants beat the Miami Dolphins 13-10. Last year, the Chicago Bears beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-18.
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image: © TiM BiG