Khan’s Purchase of Jaguars Approved by NFL Owners
University of Illinois graduate and Urbana businessman Shahid Khan is now officially the owner of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Pakistan-born Khan is also the first minority owner in the league. He addressed the media in Dallas Wednesday, following an approval by NFL owners.
Khan says owning a franchise is the realization of a life-long dream. He says this rebirth of the Jaguars franchise starts with relating to fans and developing relationships. Khan has committed to keeping the team in Jacksonville, and improving team play as well.
"It is my renewed commitment to the city to really earn their trust, and really to serve them and get engaged," Khan said. "This is a partnership with the fans. They have to come and support the team, but I'm committed, obviously, to the rebirth, the reinvigoration, doing whatever it takes to put a winner on the field."
Khan says he's been drawn to the sport since his days at the U of I.
"As an engineer, I've thought this is like three-dimensional chess with almost infinite variables," he said. "And it's very simple, but yet it's very complex. Somehow I've been drawn to it, like a moth to a flame."
Khan is the owner of Urbana-based Flex-N-Gate who tried to by the St. Louis Rams last year. The Jaguars approval was expected, as he'd already been unanimously recommended by the league's finance committee.
Franchise founder Wayne Weaver's club began playing in 1993. He fired coach Jack Del Rio in late November, the same day he announced his deal with Khan.
(Photo courtesy of the University of Illinois)