Jags Consider Future Games in Orlando
The Jacksonville Jaguars are considering the possibility of playing some future home games in Orlando, Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver told the Orlando Sentinel.
"There's certainly the possibility that we would play some out-of-market games," Weaver told the newspaper. "If it happened, Orlando would be the best option and most reasonable location.
"In the past, we have reached out to try and cultivate that market and haven't had as much success as we would have liked. We probably need to do a better job. That's a given. We are looking at a long-term strategy and thinking out of the box on how we can build a fan base in Orlando."
Weaver told the newspaper that such a decision probably would be made in conjunction with the NFL's proposed expansion of the regular season, likely to 18 games per team, within the next few years. The owners have discussed lengthening the regular season to 17 or 18 games per club and have indicated they will deal with the issue during their current labor negotiations with the players' union.
The Jaguars have struggled to sell tickets to their home games this season. Weaver previously has said that he expects all of the team's home games to be blacked out on local television in the Jaguars' home market this season for failing to sell out the required 72 hours in advance. There are some concerns within the league about the long-term viability of the franchise in Jacksonville.
But Weaver's plan with Orlando appears to be similar to an arrangement currently being utilized by the Buffalo Bills, who have agreed to play a series of preseason and regular season games in Toronto.
The Bills have indicated that they're not interested in relocating the team but are attempting to gain a regional following to strengthen the franchise economically while operating in one of the league's smallest markets.
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