All of these empty seats? They may not count towards the blackout number, but they do count towards the bottom line.
The focus for the Jaguars this off-season has been making sure that the general bowl needs to be sold out, making sure the home games will be on TV is obviously the key priority for the Jaguars this season. After starting this off season needing to sell a stupefying number of season tickets in the general bowl, the Jaguars need to sell 8,504 more (factoring in the expected 8,000 tickers per game in group sales) in order to lift the blackouts, certainly within reach. However, there remains another unspoken ticket sales issue. That is the premium seating.
In 1993, one of the major pitches the city of Jacksonville made to the NFL was the amount of premium seating it was going to have. It was supposed to be the life blood of the franchise so it wouldn't suck out funds from other teams.
If you're unaware of just how many premium seats there are, the Jaguars official capacity is 67,184. Yet the blackout number is only 50, 957. That leaves 16, 227 in premium seating. The number of premium seats in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium was the most in the NFL when it opened and still ranks among the most. Even in an unprecedented period of stadium building for the NFL, JMS still has one of the highest premium ticket sales quotas.
Premium ticket sales are especially important because they don't get counted into the general pool of shared revenue. If the Jaguars can get all of their premium seating sold, it is another equalizer in the fight against large market teams in the NFL. The Touchdown Club and Suites have the potential to bring in well over $30 million annually to the teams coffers. That's not a number to scoff at.
The reason I'm bringing all of this up, is that, as of right now, there are around 4,000 unsold premium tickets. I understand why there is such a push for the team to get the home games on local TV. However, there is still more work to be done. Just because the games are on TV again doesn't mean the franchise isn't still going to need around the clock monitoring for awhile.
Anyone who was at a game last year will most likely remember seeing the East Touchdown Club at best half full for most games, To see that the Jaguars have already sold 75% of their premium seating is encouraging. However, considering most NFL cities just need to send out renewal notices for their seats, it's still yet another reminder of the situation the Jaguars are in.
Not trying to be a downer on a Friday, just trying to make sure everyone keeps this all in perspective.