SBD/December 1, 2011/Franchises

All Or Nothing: Shahid Khan Will Own 100% Of Jaguars, Will Have No Limited Partners

Weaver had seven limited partners, but Khan will own 100% of Jaguars
Prospective Jaguars Owner Shahid Khan will "buy 100 percent of the team and won't have limited partners," according to Vito Stellino of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. Former Owner Wayne Weaver had seven limited partners. Preston Haskell, one of the partners, said, "It's bittersweet. I think in the long run it's going to be very good for the team and very good for the city." Fellow limited partner Lawrence DuBow said, "It was a great ride. Timing is everything in life. It's the right time. If you wait for the ideal time, you wait for the rest of your life" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 11/30). Former NFLer Deron Cherry also was a limited partner in the Jaguars, and he said, "I have mixed feelings. Wayne does, too. He enjoyed this business as much as I did being a part of it with him. But he has other businesses … he’s got some kids, but I don’t think they were interested in carrying forward with the team. Everyone was aware of the fact with no succession plan … the time for him to exit was getting shorter, and he wanted to wait until there was labor peace." Cherry is convinced Khan "will keep the Jaguars in Jacksonville." He said, "Everyone is talking about the franchise moving. I don't think that's going to happen" (K.C. STAR, 12/1).

MONEY HOLD: In Jacksonville, Timothy Gibbons in a front-page piece notes if Khan "wants to move the team to a new city before 2030, he’d have to pay the city millions of dollars to get out of its lease for EverBank Field." The team "could avoid paying a lot of those penalties -- which could total more than $100 million -- if it lost money one year and was below the NFL’s revenue average the following two years." The agreement "requires the team to pay whatever is left on the lease, which totals just over $145 million spread over the 35-year term of the deal." According to a city analysis of the rental income, the team currently "owes just over $100 million." It would also "have to pony up money related to things like missed ticket surcharges and parking revenue, which would add up to almost $1 million a year." If the team can "show it has lost money for a year and had below-average revenue the following two years, though, that payout gets cut by about 40 percent" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 12/1).

NO CLEAR PATH: In L.A., Sam Farmer writes to believe the Jaguars are "skipping town is to believe the league's other 31 franchises -- run by cutthroat businessmen -- are ready to give Khan a clear path to the pot of gold, a locale that will essentially double the value of his team." The NFL "knows it cannot afford to fail again in L.A.," and it is a "big leap in logic to think that the league would hand that opportunity to its newest, least-experienced, and nowhere-near-richest team owner." Farmer asks, "Don't you think teams such as the Chargers, Rams, Raiders and Vikings might have something to say about the new guy strolling into L.A. and cutting a deal, especially when the looming threat of that market is their main leverage for getting stadium deals done in their current cities?" (L.A. TIMES, 12/1).

TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE FOR MONDAY NIGHT: Jaguars Senior VP/Sales & Marketing Mackey Weaver said that ticket sales for Monday's game against the Chargers "picked up Wednesday" after Wayne Weaver announced he had fired coach Jack Del Rio and was selling the team. The Jaguars have not had any TV blackouts since '09 and Mackey Weaver "was confident they would avoid one for the Chargers game even though they have more than 7,000 tickets left to sell as of Wednesday evening." He said that the team will "ask the NFL for a 24-hour extension until Saturday." Stellino notes when a team "asks for an extension, it usually avoids a blackout." Weaver said that a theme on Monday night will be to "thank Wayne and Delores Weaver for their 18-year tenure as the team's owners." Khan is planning to attend Monday's game (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 12/1).
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