Jags Owner Shad Khan Discusses Ticket Sales, Overseas Games, TV Blackouts
Jaguars Owner Shad Khan in a Q&A “discussed a wide range of topics from his expectations for the season to his role as an NFL owner, to the benefits of playing a game or two overseas,” according to Vito Stellino of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. Khan said, “Football is bigger than I thought it was. It is hope springs eternal and I’m very, very excited and optimistic.” Khan admitted that his ownership of the franchise is one of his smaller businesses. He said, “This is about the size of a small auto parts plant, very small. A couple of hundred people. But it’s an infinitely higher profile and the ability to impact people’s lives is absolutely amazing and mind blowing.” Khan said he “knew several” of the NFL owners before he bought the team. Khan: “Obviously I’ve gotten to know most of them. It’s absolutely a great group of owners. Great front office and leadership at the league level and, obviously, most importantly for me are the Jacksonville fans.” Meanwhile, Khan said of ticket sales thus far, “We’ve put a huge amount of effort, the caravans, we’ve had a number of other fans events, showing them really we’re reaching out and I think we’re doing better but we‘re not where we need to be.” The Jaguars earlier this month decided not to drop the TV blackout figure to 85% and Khan said of the move, “The (current) number (is what) we need to really have a sustainable team in the area, a sustainable team which will have the energy in the stadium. I think we can do that.” When asked how “important is it to avoid blackouts,” Khan said, “I think it’s money but it’s frankly more than that, that we have the support of the community.” When asked about the team’s desire to play multiple games in London, Khan said his message to fans is “you’re not going to lose a home game.” Khan: “The home game is just going to be a little further away. … We’ll do everything to accommodate Jacksonville area fans who want to go to that home game in London” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 7/27).
NEW DIGS: In Jacksonville, Tania Ganguli notes the Jaguars on Thursday unveiled a “$3 million makeover” of their locker room. The lockers now have “ventilation systems in each locker to dry players’ cleats and pads, custom chairs and LED hang rods that can change colors for special events, such as pink for breast cancer awareness.” Twenty HD LED display screens “ranging from 42 to 80 inches hang throughout the locker room, some of them display instructions for players rather than the white-board the team used for messages last year.” The locker room also “features a sound system of 41,600 watts” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 7/27).