Sixteen years ago, one grassroots organization brought the Jaguars to Jacksonville. Now they're back, doing everything they can to keep them there. (Note: "everything they can" appears limited to coupons for nachos and soda at one game.)
Touchdown Jacksonville was a group largely responsible for convincing the NFL's owners that north Florida could support a football team. We saw how that turned out: every single home game thus far has been blacked out locally.
When the group was revived earlier this month, there were five remaining home dates. Much like a surgeon willing to leave the patient a limbless torso in order to keep the gangrene from killing him completely, they've made the final home game of the year the focus of their efforts (codenamed TEALgate Party) That's right: if the Jags can almost sell out a single game in 2009, it will be considered a success.
The December 17th game against the Colts has always looked like the most likely game to sell out. For one, the greatest QB of our generation is coming to town. Secondly. it'll be on national TV and no one wants to look bad in front of Rich Eisen. Finally, it's a Thursday night game, and since Jacksonville shuts down for the weekends, perhaps people will be able to attend.
But Touchdown Jacksonville is taking no chances:
Single-game ticket sales will include a coupon for $10, good for food, drinks or merchandise at the game if ticket buyers give the code word "teal" when ordering by phone or click on a Touchdown Jacksonville Web banner when ordering through Jaguars.com.
That's not all of the group's approach to boosting sales. Mike Hightower, chairman of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, said members of the chamber's councils are working with their groups of businesspeople to sell tickets. Jacksonville lawyer Wayne Hogan said his law firm will have its Christmas party at the TEALgate party and that it will fill about 100 seats at the game.
Strong work, Wayne Hogan. Jacksonvillians will be watching their team get blown out on national TV in no time!
Which brings us to the only remaining question: which sounds better, Los Angeles Jaguars, or London Jaguars?
Touchdown Jacksonville Has Big Plans For Jaguars' Dec. 17 Game [Florida Times-Union]