SBD/June 12, 2014/Facilities

More Premium Seating Added To EverBank Field, Jaguars See Spike In Ticket Sales

Only four sections -- about 3,000 seats -- at EverBank Field will now have tarps
The Jaguars will be “removing 9,500 seats” and taking tarps off 12 sections of EverBank Field to accomodate the addition of premium seating and construction of video boards and pools, but seating capacity will “roughly remain the same,” according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. The stadium’s seating capacity before the renovations was 67,246, and “only four sections, totaling about 3,000 seats, will have tarps” in ‘14. The Jaguars’ “new four premium seating options” will include 180 field-level seats at $350 per game, four-seat tables outside the East Stadium Club at $350 per seat per game, four-seat tables outside the West Stadium Club at $375 per seat per game and 120 bar rail seats along the north end zone (adjacent to the pools) at $150 per game. The team also is “expanding the State Farm Neighborhood Fan Cave” by adding a second level and increasing capacity “from 400 to more than 600.” The Fan Cave is “open to any ticket holder and includes Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, tablets, video game consoles, and power leather home theater recliners.” The additional premium seating allows the Jaguars to “increase their revenue without raising ticket prices across the board” (ESPN.com, 6/10).

COPACABANA: Jaguars Senior VP/Sales Chad Johnson said that 65% of the new cabana seats at the stadium have been sold even though the team can only “show the fans artist renderings of them.” In Jacksonville, Vito Stellino noted the pools will have an acrylic front so fans in other areas of the stadium can “look into them.” Jaguars President Mark Lamping said that the project will “definitely be completed” by July 26 when the changes will be “unveiled after a friendly match” played by Jaguars Owner Shahid Kahn’s EPL club Fulham FC and before a Carrie Underwood concert. Johnson said that the team, which had a season-ticket base of 44,000 last year, “hopes to increase it to 50,000 or higher.” He said that the Jaguars had a “renewal rate” of 75% of the season tickets at the original deadline, an increase of 10% from last year. The team has “managed to sell around 15,000 extra tickets a game with the help of various promotions,” including single-game and group sales, and has sold 5,500 new season tickets this year. Meanwhile, Lamping said that if no firm “emerges to develop” the Shipyards near the stadium in the northern sector of Downtown, the Jaguars might “step up and develop it as a sort of football theme park.” He "called the Shipyards property the stadium’s front door and indicated the Jaguars will be ready to move forward sooner rather than later” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 6/11).

COMIC RELIEF: Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert noted the Jaguars are “a team that’s won only 11 games in the last three years but has a bold new plan to put butts in the seats by taking out the seats.” Colbert noted the pools are the "perfect place to kick back and watch a football game, at least until they put hammocks between the uprights." The cabana package "costs a mere $12,500 a game" with 50 tickets and includes "all you can eat and drink," but "of course, you will have to wait an hour after eating before getting into the pool. ... Naturally, this bold plan raises a lot of questions, like, 'Why?' and, 'Really, why?'" The team said that it wanted to use "underperforming" areas in the stadium and "get creative." Colbert: "They should tackle the stadium's most underperforming area, that green liney space in the middle. Let's get creative in there. You know what? Maybe put a professional sports team on that thing" ("The Colbert Report," Comedy Central, 6/10).

CROSS PROMOTION: In Jacksonville, Don Coble noted Khan and Lamping are “looking to increase the team’s regional reach.” One option is “moving a preseason game out of Jacksonville and around the state, chiefly” to Orlando. Daytona Int’l Speedway, which is undergoing a $400M renovation and “envisions hosting NFL and college football games, soccer matches and concerts,” is another option. Speedway President Joie Chitwood said the speedway and the Jaguars have not had “a formal discussion” but the sides have a “great relationship.” Meanwhile, Chitwood and NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray “took their sales pitch for the July 5 Coke Zero 400 to the football field” Tuesday by running 30 minutes worth of drills at Jaguars OTAs as part of a promotion to “bring in new fans” to NASCAR (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 6/11).
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