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Jaguars still struggling with tarp issue at EverBank Field

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The Jaguars know their tarps are a punch-line.

And they want to get rid of them.

Figuring out the right way to do it has become a tougher problem to solve.

New owner Shad Khan’s goal is to get rid of them, saying: “To me, every day I look at the tarps, it is like underachieving, and I can’t wait to be able to do that [remove the tarps].”

Mark Lamping, the Jaguars president in charge of non-football operations, said an announcement’s coming in August about new features at EverBank Field. New video boards are coming, but maybe not until 2014.

But those tarps are still the first thing many see, and the biggest problem.

“We’re working on a number of ideas,” Lamping told Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union. “We’d like to get something done this year, but maybe we won’t be able to. It needs to be a done in a way to enhance the fan experience as opposed to an advertising panel. We haven’t come up with a solution, but we’re working very hard.”

The Jags have an apparent, but complicated problem. They like what the tarps do, cutting the capacity of their stadium from a too-big-for-the-market 76,000 to a closer-to-just-right 67,246.

If they were the only tenants, they could just blow out those seats, install some kind of amenity and proceed happily. Problem is, that leaves the stadium (at least) 10,000 seats short of what they need for the annual Georgia-Florida game and the Gator Bowl if that game gets a lucky draw, meaning they can’t make permanent alterations.

Trying to come up with a system of platforms that don’t block the views from other seats and can sustain anything from concession stands to plazas to palm trees is proving more expensive than they thought.

“Putting tarps over seats does nothing for the fan experience and is a blatant reminder that there are seats under them,” Lamping said.

It’s also a blatant reminder that the Jaguars are held hostage by one extremely popular college football game a year, which limits their ability to improve their own product.

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19 Responses to “Jaguars still struggling with tarp issue at EverBank Field”
  1. mtheparrothead says: Jul 9, 2012 8:07 AM

    Thank you for reporting this accurately. Yet again another reason to hate the Florida gators.

  2. s11ekans says: Jul 9, 2012 8:22 AM

    Tebow would have sold some seats…just saying.

  3. jimmysee says: Jul 9, 2012 8:27 AM

    1. Remove all tarps.

    2. Sell tarp seat tickets for $10.

    3. Problem solved.

  4. hotstampjax says: Jul 9, 2012 8:33 AM

    The tarps are the LEAST of our problems. Start winning and the tarps will go away or build your own stadium. The Gator Bowl is not an NFL caliper stadium. Also stop boring us to death by giving the ball to MJD every play.

  5. johnnyjagfan says: Jul 9, 2012 8:37 AM

    Renovations after the Jags entry to the league added even more seats. They still install temporary seats for the Georgia-Florida game high in the endzone.

    I don’t care about the tarps. I do know that if the Jags start playing like they did upon entry to the league again, they will pull the tarps off.

  6. shackdelrio says: Jul 9, 2012 8:49 AM

    “hotstampjax says:
    Jul 9, 2012 8:33 AM
    The tarps are the LEAST of our problems. Start winning and the tarps will go away or build your own stadium. The Gator Bowl is not an NFL caliper stadium. Also stop boring us to death by giving the ball to MJD every play.”

    I assume you mean caliber, but how is it not an NFL caliber stadium? It was the best stadium in the league when it opened and the city and team have done a great job of keeping it updated. They added escalators, the BudZone in the south end zone, the terrace suites. They are upgrading the sound system this offseason, and are also installing new video boards around the stadium. Have you ever been to the stadium?

  7. nepaseahawk says: Jul 9, 2012 9:14 AM

    the solution was named tebow for sure…the only option they currently have is to sell tickets dirt cheap

  8. udtfrogmanvet says: Jul 9, 2012 9:39 AM

    Donate tickets to the military and vets in one section. Have several dueling high school or college bands in an already loud north end zone. Donate tickets to orphan children or some charity in another section and provide logistics for them, as well. That will keep the stadium full and is a great marketing tool, too.

  9. robigd says: Jul 9, 2012 9:40 AM

    Here is the fix. remove all upper deck seats, then install a rail system that seats can be placed in. For Jag games, out a few more inches between seats, then the upper deck is full! For Fla/Ga game, put the seats in tight.

  10. walkinginthewasteland says: Jul 9, 2012 11:20 AM

    It’s also a blatant reminder that the Jaguars are held hostage by one extremely popular college football game a year, which limits their ability to improve their own product.

    _______________________

    No, its a blatant reminder that the city should never have been awarded an NFL franchise.

  11. purpleguy says: Jul 9, 2012 11:41 AM

    The Jags are doing their best and the community supports that team as best it can, but does the NFL really need 3 Florida teams?

  12. hotstampjax says: Jul 9, 2012 12:26 PM

    shackdelrio says:

    How is it not an NFL caliber stadium? It was the best stadium in the league when it opened and the city and team have done a great job of keeping it updated. They added escalators, the BudZone in the south end zone, the terrace suites. They are upgrading the sound system this offseason, and are also installing new video boards around the stadium. Have you ever been to the stadium?

    The Gator Bowl is first and foremost a college stadium that the JAGS also use for NFL games. Real NFL stadiums have a real club level where all of the seats are protected from the weather. Who is going to pay $ 225.00 + per seat to bake in the east “club” level and watch MJD run three yards and get clobbered?

    The FL – GA game and Gator Bowl needs to be less of a priority in JAX and more emphasis placed on the JAGS. The stadium needs to be redesigned to accommodate an NFL team. That would mean playing the FL-GA game in a smaller stadium.

    When the Tailgate Bar & Grill is the nicest bar within walking distance of the stadium…you have a big problem with the “game day” experience.

  13. finsfrenzy says: Jul 9, 2012 1:18 PM

    Lower ticket prices, holy crap why is this so hard for super-businessmen to figure out?

  14. finsfrenzy says: Jul 9, 2012 1:19 PM

    No ones ever said “man, did you go to the game and see that awesome video board!!”

  15. ghengy says: Jul 9, 2012 1:45 PM

    The whole Jag organization sucks..always has and always will. They have never done anything to promote this team locally, and for the pick they used to draft a punter could have solved their ticket problem and fan apathy issue all with one simple deal.

    Now here we sit with all the bad draft picks, little fan interest, and the ugliest uniforms and stadium in the league. Getting rid of the teal would be a good start. Yeah, its a big stadium by NFL standards, but its a football wild region that would support the team if they demonstrated they were worthy of the support.

    But they have to do something dramatic to swing the transplants, there’s probably more Jets/Giants/Browns fans here than Jaguar fans.

  16. robigd says: Jul 9, 2012 1:58 PM

    finsfrenzy says:
    Jul 9, 2012 1:19 PM
    No ones ever said “man, did you go to the game and see that awesome video board!!”
    ————————–

    So, nobody has gone to a Dallas game and said that?

  17. alonestartexan says: Jul 9, 2012 2:24 PM

    I grew up in the Tampa Bay area, born in Orlando, also lived in South Florida at one time..

    The problem with the Jags is this..

    The Dolphins, having been a franchise and a winning one at that, for 10 years before another franchise was in the state, they built a huge fan base across the state.

    The Bucs always had the Tampa and Orlando markets, and the Panhandle of the state was always a mixture of Saints, Falcons, Bucs, and Dolphins. Then they added the Jags.

    Even though the Jags started off hot and winning games, the love affair ended when the Jags hit the skids and the Bucs won the Super Bowl. Jacksonville is a struggling market and will always play 3rd fiddle in the state to the Bucs and Dolphins.

    I’ve lived through the threat of the Bucs relocating to Cleveland, I also lived through the relocation of the Oilers to Tennessee, it ripped the heart out of the average Houston football fan. No city should have to endure that.

    However, I really believe that the Jags would thrive in San Antonio, Oklahoma City, or Los Angeles.

    No offense intended to Jags fans but it’s probably never going to get better.

  18. therillest says: Jul 9, 2012 9:14 PM

    One thing that does bother me is the excuses! The Jaguar organization consistently makes excuse for why we are not winning and selling out the stadium. This is a very strong football community that consistently filled that stadium when the product was good (without the tarps) and can do it again! The team began penny pinching back in the early 2000’s starting with hiring a cheap unknown Jack Del Rio and has been consistently losing and declining in popularity ever since. The ownership was more interested in saving money than winning championships and the fans are tired of it! Jaguars haven’t went after a TOP TIER free agent that will move the turn-styles since Coughlin was here……there’s the truth take it or leave it! Oh yeah, and the consistently tell the city that they did a survey and bringing home Tebow would not have impacted tickets sales much at all (They seriously said that).

  19. i10east says: Jul 10, 2012 6:05 AM

    Anyone who calls EverBank Field the Gator Bowl must have not been too the old Gator Bowl. The Gator Bowl was a complete dump with metal bleachers, and a holey floor that you can see through. The Gator Bowl and EverBank Field are night and day, and please me the obligatory “10 percent of Everbank was the original Gator Bowl blah blah blah” It’s only just a concrete superstructure that supports the West upper deck (added in the 80’s) not the entire stadium by no means.

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