The Jacksonville Jaguars' billionaire owner, Shahid Khan, has offered to buy London's iconic Wembley Stadium, a move that offers perhaps the clearest signal yet that the National Football League is increasingly poised to establish a semi-permanent franchise in Britain after years of visits to the city.
"For the Jaguars, it would deliver another - and very significant - asset and local revenue source that would further strengthen our investment in London", Khan who is also the owner of English second tier soccer team Fulham, said. Wembley is home to England's national football team. The current version of Wembley, famous for its iconic arch, replaced the original venue, which was renowned for its twin towers on one side of the stadium.
Daily mail, UK, reports that Khan has tabled an £800m offer for the stadium in north-west London and FA chiefs are on the verge of accepting.
"I trust many if not most of you are also supporters of the England national teams, so I hope you welcome the potential of this becoming a reality".
"No matter what the outcome of our offer may be, I want to emphatically state to you that none of this will have any effect on my commitment to your Club".
The English Football Association has received an offer from Khan, a University of IL graduate, of about $840 million for the national soccer stadium, which would continue to host England games and major cup finals after a sale.
If the Jaguars wanted to play at Wembley more often, or pursue a permanent move, they would need the NFL's approval. The Jaguars have a deal through 2020 to play games in London.
"In every respect, the Jaguars' standing in London would be improved and dramatically enhanced if we are fortunate to be approved as the new owner and steward of Wembley Stadium, and that's good news for the Jaguars and all of Jacksonville", Khan added. "The potential purchase of Wembley Stadium is a further powerful sign of their commitment to the United Kingdom and their vision to help us grow the sport".
As the largest stadium in the U.K., Wembley plays host to numerous country's biggest sporting events.
NFL games will also be played later this year at the new north London stadium of Premier League club Tottenham, which is under construction. The old stadium was demolished in the early 2000s, and the new stadium opened on the same site in 2007.
An FA spokesman said: "We can confirm the FA Board has received an offer for Wembley".
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