The Real Deal Miami

Jacksonville Jaguars owner withdraws bid for Wembley Stadium in London

Billionaire Shahid Khan had planned to stage more NFL football games at Wembley, which he offered to buy for $788 million
October 20, 2018 10:00AM

Shahid Khan and Wembley Stadium (Credit: TheTimes.Co.UK)

Shahid Khan, the owner of the National Football League’s Jacksonville Jaguars, withdrew a bid to acquire Wembley Stadium in London.

Khan offered in April to buy Wembley for about $788 million, according to Mark Lamping, the president of the Jaguars.

The Pakistani-born billionaire, founder of Urbana, Illinois-based Flex-N-Gate, an automotive parts supplier, said Wembley’s owner may not be ready to sell it.

Wembley Stadium is owned by Football Association (FA), the governing body of football in England, and too few of the association’s council members want to sell the stadium, according to Khan.

In a prepared statement, Khan said, “It appears that there is no definitive mandate to sell Wembley. My current proposal, subsequently, would earn the backing of only a slim majority of the FA Council, well short of the conclusive margin that the FA chairman has required.”

The Jacksonville Jaguars play one game per season at Wembley, a 90,000-seat stadium that serves as the home of the national soccer team in England, and Khan had wanted to stage more NFL games there.

Under his proposal to acquire Wembley, Football Association would have kept 300 million pounds of annual revenue from its Club Wembley hospitality program, Lamping said.

Football Association apparently had planned to use some of the proceeds from a sale of Wembley to invest in soccer clubs.

In his statement, Khan would not rule out a future bid for Wembley but “that is no possible at this time.” [Bloomberg] – Mike Seemuth