If you have watched a Jacksonville Jaguars game on TV during the past couple of years, there is an image that is all too common. It is the image of empty seats at Everbank Field, especially the always-shown club seats. It is not that the Jaguars have been lacking in ticket sales. Far from it. From 2009 to 2010, after months of rallying due to the efforts of Team Teal, the Jaguars reduced their blackout total from 10 to 0, yet the club seats remain sparsely populated. With the lockout dragging on, the momentum built from last year's progress could be halted significantly, resulting in another year of seeing empty club seats, or general bowl seats for that matter.
According to the Jaguars' official website, there are 17,194 (as of July 8, 2011) general bowl tickets left to sell in order to avoid blackouts. Assuming that the number stays about the same and that the NFL comes up with a new CBA by the projected July 15th deadline, the Jaguars would have 5 weeks to sell the 17,000 tickets. Using a bit of third grade math, that translates into about 3,400 tickets a week, which is quite possible, but still daunting in a city that has struggled to sell tickets before.
So, what is being planned? Bill Prescott, senior vice president and chief financial officer of the Jaguars, spoke to Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union, about his plans on hitting the ground running when the lockout issues are finally resolved.
“Once the lockout ends, you’ll see Team Teal everywhere,” said Prescott. “You’ll see that amp up very quickly. We’ve been very quiet in terms of radio and TV advertising. We’re saving our gunpowder for when this [lockout] is over. We can’t let this lockout be a headwind that knocks us backward.”
I'm sure that everyone can expect more goosebumps-inducing commercials from Tony and Team Teal in the next month or so. However, the main issue here is how will the fans react. Obviously, many fans that are suffering due to the current worldwide financial recession have been disgusted with the notion of "millionaires fighting over money with billionaires", but we will have to see in the next few weeks whether there will be a significant amount of people that will not buy tickets.
My guess is that once people start seeing the trades, free agent signings and training camp drama, all of this lockout stuff will just be a mere unpleasant memory.
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