September 1, 2015 / 10:20 PM / 4 years ago

Playing in London 'match made in heaven', says Jaguars owner

(Reuters) - Shad Khan, the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, says he would like to work out a long-term deal for his National Football League team to continue playing in London, possibly right through to the 2030 season.

Aug 22, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne (7) attempts to pass during first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars have two years left on a four-year agreement to play one game per season at Wembley Stadium.

They are scheduled to play the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 25, having previously taken on the San Francisco 49ers in 2013 and the Dallas Cowboys in 2014.

“I’m optimistic we’ll have a renewal on that and that it will go for a long time. We would like it to be long term, like 2030,” Khan told reporters on Tuesday in Jacksonville, Florida.

“London and Jacksonville is a match made in heaven for us ... it’s a critical part of our franchise to be able to play games there, get the recognition, build the fan base and get the sponsors.

“We want to invest in London and we want to have a longer horizon to be able to do that.”

Khan said playing in London had been probably the “number one element in stabilizing” the franchise.

He also said he wanted the Jaguars to continue playing only at Wembley.

It was announced in July that the NFL will schedule two games per season for 10 years, starting in 2018, at the new stadium being built for English Premier League soccer club Tottenham Hotspur.

There will be three NFL games in London this year, all at Wembley, with the Jaguars, Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs designated as the ‘home’ teams.

The Dolphins will play the New York Jets on Oct. 4, while the Chiefs will meet the Detroit Lions on Nov. 1.

The NFL has staged at least one game per season in London since 2007.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes

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