If you are a rabid Jags fan who is eagerly anticipating watching your favorite team play their first home preseason game on television, you will have to wait a little longer.
ESPN's Paul Kuharsky has just reported that the Jacksonville Jaguars' home preseason games will be blacked out due to a lack of ticket sales. Fans will not be able to see the games on live television nor tape delay.
Per NFL blackout rules, games that are not expected to sell out cannot be aired on local television, therefore FOX and local CBS Jacksonville network WTEV will not produce games for a tape-delayed response.
The following was quoted in Kuharsky's article: "The cost to produce the game is exactly the same whether it's in prime time or on tape delay at 11 or midnight," WTEV general manager Jeff Whitson said. "From a recouping-our-costs standpoint, advertisers are not going to get the same value and can't be charged the same. The economics of the game's whole plan change except for the expenses."
The production of each game costs the station approximately $80,000, Whitson said.
These blackouts are becoming part of a trend that is all too familiar to Jaguar fans.
Dating back to the earlier days of the franchise, home games have been blacked out, but Jags owner Wayne Weaver and local businesses have been doing everything that they could up to this point to keep blackouts from becoming a common theme for local fans.
Local stores such as supermarket chain Winn-Dixie would buy tickets from the organization and give them away through various contests.
Weaver even had 10,000 stadium seats sectioned off to try to better the situation, but the fact remains that the organization is not selling out the stadium and season ticket sales are at an all-time low.
The Jaguars announced earlier this week that they would offer two new ticket packages—Half-Packs and Value-Packs—to provide more flexibility and affordability to fans. The Half-Packs start at $200 for five games with a two-month payment plan when paid by a credit card.
The Four-Seat Value-Pack starts at $50 per seat and includes a free meal with each ticket purchase, as reported on Jaguars.com.
This is all proof of the desperation the franchise is showing in a slowing economy to bolster their fan base and sell tickets at a better rate. Surely fans won't find a better deal around the league for ticket prices right now.
With much hope, these lowered prices and great deals will be capitalized on by Jaguar fans who would hate to lose their franchise to a large market in search of a team, such as Los Angeles.
Let's hope Jacksonville is the team that stays put for many years to come.
No Jaguar fan wants to see the above picture on their television screen when Jaguars' home games are on.
Some information and quotes were used from ESPN columnist, Paul Kuharsky's article on the Jaguars' blackout status.