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Blog Entry

Jaguars sold to Shahid Khan, staying in Jax

Posted on: November 29, 2011 11:06 am
Edited on: November 29, 2011 11:58 pm
 
Posted by Will Brinson

It's just another run-of-the-mill NFL news day in Jacksonville, Florida on Tuesday. First, Jack Del Rio was fired this morning, and now CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman is reporting that the Jaguars franchise are being recently sold (employees were informed on Tuesday morning) to auto-parts mogul Shahid Kahn ... but the team will reportedly remain in Jacksonville.

Oh, and Jags general manager Gene Smith received a three-year extension. So, yeah, nothing much going on in north Florida today.

Obviously the JDR news broke this morning, but before we could even put together a list of coaches who might replace Del Rio, word started swirling that the Jags were being sold.

Kahn, a Pakistani businessman and owner of Flex-N-Gate, will buy the Jaguars after an unsuccessful attempt to purchase the Rams in 2010 when minority shareholder Stan Kroenke exercised his right to match Kahn's bid for the team.

Previously, the Jags have been considered one of the top candidates for relocation to Los Angeles if/when an NFL stadium is ready to be filled, but Freeman reports that Weaver received written assurances from Kahn that he would keep the team in Jacksonville. Weaver wouldn't confirm those assurances in his press conference however and Kahn did not address them in his statement.

Jack Del Rio Fired

"I am honored to have recently signed an agreement with Wayne Weaver and his partners to purchase the Jacksonville Jaguars,” Khan said. “I have known Wayne for some time and have long admired his spirit, which nearly 20 years ago – against all odds – helped make the Jaguars and the National Football League a reality for Jacksonville and North Florida. Wayne’s legacy will be lasting, and I will always be grateful for Wayne’s trust and confidence in my commitment to the Jaguars, the NFL and the people of the Jacksonville community."

Shortly after chatter about the sale exploded, word broke that Smith received his extension this morning, and if you think about it, the timing of the whole shebang kind of makes sense.

Del Rio was canned by the regime (Weaver) that hired him, ensuring that the new owner's first act won't be to fire a head coach. Then the news leaks that the team's been sold and the employees have been informed. Whether or not the team will move is irrelevant for the moment, because it's important that the Jaguars maintain a semblance of stability to employees and fans.

The report that states the team will remain in Jacksonville does just that. And, finally, speaking of stability, Smith's presence over the next three years provides stability to an organization that will be looking for a head coach and determining whether or not Blaine Gabbert is the future of the franchise at quarterback.

And yes, since Smith drafted Gabbert in the 2011 NFL Draft, it's a safe bet he stays on as the franchise quarterback. Whether fans like him or not, that news probably comes as a little bit of relief, if only because it means there's some stability in Jacksonville on this hectic day.

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Comments

Since: Apr 19, 2009
Posted on: November 29, 2011 4:01 pm
 

Jaguars sold to Shahid Khan, staying in Jax

Will Brinson needs to do better research, Kahn is not a Pakistani businessman, he's an American who was born in Pakistan.



Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:56 pm
 

Jaguars sold to Shahid Khan, staying in Jax

Bison you don't know Jack (pun intended) about Jacksonville and it's stadium. What exactly is a 5th class city? 
Jacksonville is a top 50 media market, has miles of nice beaches, a beautiful river running through downtown, tons of great golf courses, plenty of fishing and other outdoor activities, great weather, plenty of fine dining and shopping, home of PGA golf, TPC Sawgrass, very strong school systems in the surrounding areas, and much much more. I'll take that over whereever you live any day.

As for the stadium, you do realize Everbank Field&nb
sp;sits around 75k at full capacity and can expand to 85k for the UGA/UF game. That would rank easily in the top half of the stadiums in the NFL. Right now with seats covered it is still slightly larger than Soldier field in Chicago which has a population 4-5 times that of Jax. And for your inference about Wayne buying tix, yes he does occasionally buy 1,000 or so to avoid the blackout but that still puts well over 60k paying fans in the seats. 



Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:51 pm
 

Jaguars sold to Shahid Khan, staying in Jax

Why L.A.? They've had two tries at NFL teams and didn't keep them, why go again?



Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:45 pm
 

Jaguars sold to Shahid Khan, staying in Jax

Sorry, Jags fans, but Bison's right.

Bragging about the decrease in blackouts after you covered up 10,000 seats in your stadium is a lot like saying she doesn't sweat too much for a fat girl.  Still not exactly your first choice for the prom.

Still, I don't see the Jags as first on the list to go to LA...there's three teams in Cali, all of whose stadia are pre-1970 and small.  With Cali giving out IOUS to state workers, I just don't see new buildings for all in the near future...especially since the Chargers and Raiders already once called LA home.  Plus, you'd be able to keep divisions exactly as they are.

Keep an eye on Minnesota too.  The Dome collapsed last year, the lease goes up this year, and Zygi Wilf is not going to foot even half of the bill for the billion dollar facility proposed.

Question for Minny fans, because you're closer to this issue:  Is there any sense of "stadium envy" coming out of the Vikes given the Twins' glorious new facility?




Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:39 pm
 

Jaguars sold to Shahid Khan, staying in Jax

This team should be moved to LA - Jax cannot support them and they would be far better served in London or LA. 



Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:31 pm
 

Jaguars sold to Shahid Khan, staying in Jax

Also, I believe he did in fact obtain US citizenship at some point.



Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:28 pm
 

Jaguars sold to Shahid Khan, staying in Jax

I realize there is foreign investment in other American teams and there are foreign sports leagues that have American ownership but nevertheless there is something about this situation that doesn't sit right even though I do not know Kahn's background.
Kahn's been in America for decades; moved to the US when he was 16, graduated from the University of Illinois.  He owns one of the leading car parts suppliers.  He's not some mysterious foreign businessman emerging from the shadows.



Since: Sep 7, 2007
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:27 pm
 

Jaguars sold to Shahid Khan, staying in Jax

No, I get what you're saying and I agree 100%.  If he moves this team to LA and turns this franchise into a money-maker, where does all that money go?  Are there not some American businessmen who could put this team on solid footing and keep the profits here?



Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:17 pm
 

Jaguars sold to Shahid Khan, staying in Jax

LA Bound!



Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:03 pm
 

Jaguars sold to Shahid Khan, staying in Jax

Not a hater here, but considering all the turmoil in the Middle East, there is something unsettling to me that a Pakistani businessman now owns an NFL franchise. Maybe he has more money than sense or maybe he is shrewd enough to realize he can buy an NFL team on the relative cheap because of its' poor market and move it, to L.A., and enhance his investment? I don't know.


I realize there is foreign investment in other American teams and there are foreign sports leagues that have American ownership but nevertheless there is something about this situation that doesn't sit right even though I do not know Kahn's background.


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