As I wrote back in April, it's no secret that the NFL Lockout is having an adverse effect on Jacksonville Jaguars ticket sales and renewals. Fast forward to the near mid-point in July, and the situation hasn't improved. I don't have in front of me what the final renewal rate was, but the Jaguars still have a little over 17,000 tickets to sell according to the Fuel Gauge.
Gene Frenette of the Florida Times-Union tackled this issue with some quotes from Bill Prescott, the Jaguars senior VP and CFO.
To the Jaguars' credit, they're not using the lockout as an alibi. Bill Prescott, the team's senior vice president and chief financial officer, is convinced the franchise can reach the blackout number despite the clock ticking against them. With the regular-season home opener against the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 11 (never mind the two preseason home games), how can the Jaguars possibly sell that many tickets?
"It's do-able, we've done 4,000 [tickets] in a month before," Prescott said. "The one thing I don't want to do is go back to where we were in 2009, with 42,000 people in the stands. We just can't go back to that level."
The Jaguars absolutely cannot get back to that level, as it would be another black eye opposite the one that is for the most part healed from 2009. The Jaguars are in a tough spot however, as it's hard to pry money from people for a product that isn't even certain to be there, even with the money back guarantees.
Most don't want to commit money until a CBA was reached. Prescott also thinks once Team Teal has the post-lockout leverage of positive media attention, fans will be more willing to open up their wallets.
"Once the lockout ends, you'll see Team Teal everywhere," said Prescott. "You'll see that amp up very quickly. We've been very quiet in terms of radio and TV advertising. We're saving our gunpowder for when this [lockout] is over. We can't let this lockout be a headwind that knocks us backward."
I'm not sure why Team Teal can't be everywhere now, but I have noticed billboards around the greater Jacksonville area and I guess there are ads running on television. I don't have cable, I don't watch much live television outside of sports, so I wouldn't know.