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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars set to remove tarps at EverBank Field for playoffs

Ari Russell

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(USA Today - Steve Mitchell)

An interesting development coming out of Jacksonville on Thursday. The team announced they will be removing the tarps on the upper deck for the playoff game. Here’s more from NFL.com:

“The response from Jaguars fans to this week’s playoff game ticket sales has been tremendous,” the team said in a statement. “We’ve watched firsthand as the community rallied behind the Jaguars during our last few home games, but the demand over the last 48 hours has exceeded expectations…

During the regular season, NFL policy prohibits a change in seating capacity, and sponsorships for our tarps are sold on a season-long basis. Following yesterday’s rapid sellout, this morning the Jaguars sought and received permission from the League and our sponsors — Navy Mutual and FDOT’s ‘Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow’ campaign — to remove the tarps and sell those seats for our home playoff game next weekend…

“The Jaguars are grateful to the league and our gracious sponsors for allowing even more fans to be there to experience the Jaguars‘ first home playoff game in nearly two decades.”

This is a big deal for a franchise that has struggled with attendance over the years. Let’s keep in mind this is the first playoff game for the Jags since 2007 and their first home playoff game since 1999. This past decade of struggles certainly plays a role in fan interest. Now that the team is good, the Jaguars are obviously getting more fan fare.

The removal of the tarps will open up 3,501 seats in the stadium. Sales for these extra tickets are expected to open at 10am on Friday morning and are expected to be gone in minutes.

The Jaguars had been seeking NFL permission to remove the tarps, as league policy is that stadium capacity (maximum) must be the same for all regular season games and that’s same capacity for the post season then, too.

The crux is for teams like the Jaguars, who chose to tarp seats they couldn’t sell over the past few years, (Oakland and the Chargers while in San Diego were two others), and the NFL would give them a break on not reimbursing the opposing team for their percentage of “unsold” seats.

Still, this is good for the Jaguars and the NFL that they will sell more seats and a more raucous environment at Everbank Field for the first playoff game at home in 18 seasons.

Born in the Nation’s Capital, Washington D.C., Ari Russell watched the rise of the 1980’s Miami Hurricanes and knew that he had to be part of the “U” someday. After graduating from Coral Gables, Ari rose through the ranks of the former XM Satellite Radio and then Sirius/XM as college football executive producer. He later spent 2 seasons as the publisher of the website “Beyond U Sports” focusing on major college football/basketball. Ari brings a great perspective on everything Miami, including the Dolphins to F.F.I.

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