In the early 1990s, a group formed in Jacksonville to help reach the unlikely objective of getting the NFL to put a team there.
“Touchdown Jacksonville” accomplished its goal, to the surprise of many.
Now, the effort is being dusted off in order to keep the team in town.
Carl Cannon, former publisher of the Florida Times-Union, led “Touchdown Jacksonville” when it was first constituted. Jacksonville mayor John Peyton has asked Cannon to load up the musket once more.
“Jaguars ticket sales are down more than any other team in the league,”
Cannon said. “We are at a critical point in the history of the Jaguars
Our response? “Why in the hell did it take anyone so long to figure that out?”
“The Jaguars put us on the map,” Peyton said at a Wednesday press conference. “By every count the Jaguars are good for
Tony Boselli, a cornerstone of the franchise during its early years, is helping out, too.
“I love this team,” Boselli said. “And since Wayne Weaver and Tom Coughlin brought
me to Jacksonville, I’ve fallen in love with the town. I’m proud to be
part of this community and I know there’s a passion for the Jaguars and
a strong fan base.”
Boselli, per the Times-Union, also said that nothing “drives me more bonkers
as I travel around the country than to hear people who have the
perception that we can’t support this team.”
All due respect, Tony, but you need to replace “can’t” with “don’t.”
The Jaguars have been struggling for years to fill up their home stadium, even before the economy imploded.
Of course, poor planning is a big part of the problem. The franchise realized several years ago that the stadium had too many seats, so roughly 10,000 of them are covered up for Jaguars games in order to aid in the effort to sell enough of them to allow the games to be televised locally. This year, with full knowledge of the economic challenges, the Jags adopted unrealistic price points for tickets.
Then again, as we’re previously pointed out, it would have been difficult to slash prices now and then to increase them once financial conditions improve.
So the challenge remains to muster enough men and women to buy the tickets at their current prices.
The group scored a major upset by getting a team in the first place. The challenge this time around might be even bigger.