After years of rumors, talk of Jaguars leaving Jacksonville has finally subsided
Khan says he and his family -- including son Tony, 39, and daughter Shanna, 32, both of whom will eventually inherit the team -- fully intend on keeping the Jaguars viable and thriving in Jacksonville for a long time.
“Like with death and taxes, I consider this is going to be part of our family for generations,” said Khan. “I can tell you that with absolutely 100 percent certainty. After I’ve left the planet, both of my kids are very passionate about football and the Jaguars.
“They have no desire [to sell]. Zero.”
Investment in Jacksonville: For Shad Khan, owning the Jaguars a rewarding journey accompanied by too much losing
During Khan’s ownership, three NFL cities – St. Louis, Oakland and San Diego – have seen their teams pack up and leave, primarily over stadium issues that couldn’t be resolved.
City leaders say there's no fear of Khan leaving Jacksonville in a similar situation.
“He has a genuine interest in the city and its people as a whole. That’s the part I like about him" said Matt Carlucci, a four-term City Councilman.
“But I also know this: We’re not going to lose the Jaguars with Shad Khan here. We should appreciate that because it’s not every city that has a person of his means to help a community advance.”
When original Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver began considering a sale of the franchise, he mandated keep the team in Jacksonville as a verbal, though not legal, condition for any prospective buyer.
“One thing I was impressed with is Shad made all this money and he kept his business in Champaign, Illinois,” said Weaver. “I thought that he would fit in Jacksonville. ... We had all kinds of conversations about keeping the team in Jacksonville. We were just stewards from the time we owned it. I hoped that was the way Shad would treat it.”
Rumors of Jaguars relocating
Early in Khan's ownership, Los Angeles, then without an NFL team, was a favorite connect-the-dots destination. And when Khan began moving one home game to London annually in 2013 to help financially stabilize the franchise, the narrative of the Jaguars possibly moving across the pond gained a lot of traction.
No matter how much team President Mark Lamping refuted Jaguars’ relocation talk, or repeatedly stated that playing games in London was good for Jacksonville, it didn’t go away those first few years.
“There were all kind of rumors about the Jaguars relocating and what would Shad do,” Lamping said. “We talked about that the first time I met him and Shad convinced me he was committed to doing everything he could to make sure the Jaguars stayed in Jacksonville. Ten years later, he’s more than lived up to that commitment."