It's no secret that the NFL locket had a negative effect on ticket sales, especially in Jacksonville. I wrote a few months ago how the lockout would hurt ticket sales, Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union touched on it again about a month ago, but the time is finally here. Ryan Robinson, one of the media directors for the Jacksonville Jaguars (who tweets as @jaguarsinsider) tweeted the other day:
"Just received word that it was a very slow day for the ticket office. No way to avoid blackouts at this pace. It's Go Time!!!"
Now, it's not all that shocking ticket sales haven't spiked suddenly, despite the fact that league-wide ticket sales have surged (+332%). The Jaguars have a tough time selling tickets as is and the NFL lockout, which I'm told was the reason for a big chunk of non-renewals, certainly didn't help.
The Jaguars ticket office expressed that in order to avoid blackouts, the team would need to sell roughly 400 tickets a day. That's pretty big clip. According the the Jaguars Fuel Gauge, which was last updated July 27th, the Jaguars still need to sell about 16,000 tickets to fill the general bowl. About 7,000 of those tickets can be allotted to group/corporate sales, which is less than the number last year, so realistically the number is around 10,000. I've heard people call local sports talk radio complaining that they feel like the Jaguars are "threatening" them with blackouts if they don't buy tickets.
It's not a threat, folks. It's a simple fact of reality. If the tickets aren't sold, there will be blackouts.
I've heard complaints that the Jaguars need to "let people gather up some coin" instead of badgering them to buy tickets. Look, the Jaguars aren't badgering anyone. They need to sell tickets and need to blitz the airwaves. I hate to sound like a shill for season tickets, but they're still allowing you to purchase your tickets and spread the payment out over a 5-month period.
I'm not concerned about the Jaguars pre-season games being on television, as the Jaguars control that broadcast. I feel those will be on television regardless of ticket sales. Week 1 however, is a whole different story. Realistically, the Jaguars have until early September to push those 10,000-12,000 seats they need to sell to the general public. If you can afford them and are a fan, you should purchase them. If you can't, I understand. I have to scrounge and save to afford them as well. You don't need to make an excuse if you can't. If you can't, you can't.
If you can however, there's no reason not to.
With training camp beginning and fans being allowed to attend practices, I'd expect a surge in sales over the course of the next week.