For some home games the Jaguars are blacked out on local television in Jacksonville because they haven’t sold out their stadium, and other times the blackout is lifted because the game is designated a sellout. But even those “sellouts” are played in a stadium that’s far from full.
New Jaguars owner Shad Khan has ambitions for the franchise to reach the point when a sold out stadium means a full stadium.
Presently, the Jaguars put tarps over almost 10,000 seats at EverBank Field and say the official capacity is about 67,000. Without the tarps, the capacity is nearly 77,000. And for major events like the annual Georgia-Florida game, EverBank Field uses additional bleachers and seats 84,000. The Jaguars have a long way to go before they’re drawing the kinds of crowds that Georgia and Florida draw, but Khan says that’s the goal.
Asked by Sports Business Journal if he wants to get rid of the tarps, Khan said, “Absolutely.”
“To me, every day I look at the tarps it is like underachieving, and I can’t wait to be able to do that,” Khan said.
There’s an argument to be made that the tarps aren’t really a sign of a problem in Jacksonville: Even with the tarps, the Jaguars regularly have more fans at EverBank Field than, for instance, the Bears have at Soldier Field. But Khan is an ambitious man, and he doesn’t want to accept any excuses for the Jaguars’ attendance record. He wants a fan in every seat.