With more than a few teams continuously facing an inability to sell out all (or, in some cities, to sell at least 85 percent) of the non-premium seats, the Jaguars aren’t.
The franchise will be completing its third straight season without a local blackout. More importantly, the Jags are pulling it off this year without having to buy any of the tickets in order to ensure a single sellout.
“People who think we’re at the bottom of the table in the NFL, that’s just not true,” team president Mark Lamping tells the Florida Times-Union.
From a wins-and-losses perspective, the Jags share the lower rung with the Chiefs, at 2-12. But the fans have supported the team unconditionally.
“I’m very proud of the way the organization has responded to some of the challenges we’ve put in front of them and the fan response has been unbelievable,” Lamping said. “If we were performing as well as our fans, we would be having a banner year.”
Of course, fans in few cities will support a two-win team indefinitely. In Jacksonville, the excitement of a new owner who is committed to the building up the area has helped create a short-term push. For long-term success, the team needs to compete for a playoff berth at least once every five years, if not more often.
That will be the next challenge for Shahid Khan. And it could result in changes to the front office or coaching staff. Lamping made clear, however, that football isn’t within his job duties.
“Shad is working that,” Lamping said. “I’m focused on the business side.”
Lamping should be grateful this week for that, with a team like the Patriots coming to town. He also should be grateful for the fact that ticket interest from Pats fans
has helped the Jags partially remove the tarps, selling an extra 2,600 tickets.
Also helping Lamping on the business side over the next four years is that, with one home game per played in London. With a 12.5-percent reduction in annual inventory, it’ll be even easier to sell tickets.