SBD/Issue 238/NFL Season Preview

Jaguars Owner Weaver Addresses Finances, Sale Rumors

Jaguars Have Covered Some Upper Deck
Seats To Help Prevent TV Blackouts
Jaguars Owner Wayne Weaver discusses the state of the team with Vito Stellino of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, who asks, "You keep saying the team isn't for sale.  Why do some of your fellow owners keep saying it is?" Weaver: “I don’t know why they’re saying that. I’ve had plenty of opportunities (to sell). There are only 32 [NFL franchises] and, clearly, this one is not for sale.” Weaver also said his wife “(would want to own the team) if something happened to me. And so would our two children."  He added, "Jacksonville is a good football market. That (ticket-selling problem) has more to do with being a small market and some of it is the economy right now. The market has a large blue-collar work force.” On getting naming rights for their stadium: “It’s a work in progress. We think it will happen sooner rather than later”  (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 9/6). 

COST-CUTTING: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL'S Dan Kaplan reports Jaguars Marketing Dir Jennifer Perkins and Exec Dir of Ticket Sales Scott Loft “were let go” by the Jaguars on August 20.  The moves come as the team "has struggled to fill its stadium and the league’s year-old labor deal has eaten a far greater share of NFL team revenue than did the previous deal.” A team spokesperson “did not blame the moves on the [CBA], but instead on the larger economy, even pointing out that the local newspaper in Jacksonville had just laid off 60 people” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/3 issue).  In a Q&A with Alan Schmadtke of the ORLANDO SENTINEL, Weaver said of the moves, "You know how you make an organization more productive? You flatten it. You make people that are responsible more accountable for day-to-day operations” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 9/6).  ESPN.com’s Len Pasquarelli wrote the Jaguars have reportedly "lost money three times in this decade," and their fan base "has waned enough that [Weaver] was forced a few seasons ago” to begin covering some seats in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium to avoid blackouts. Two years ago, 30% of the team’s season-ticket holders did not renew, 25% this year.  The team is also reportedly carrying $110M in debt service  (ESPN.com, 8/31).

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