JACKSONVILLE — The Jaguars rolled out a sweeping announcement Monday that included removing tarps from the upper deck of EverBank Field for all games in 2018, plans to change their uniforms and the return of loyalty pricing for season ticket members.
All seats will be on sale at the stadium for the first time since 2005 as the Jaguars look to take advantage of their first division title since 1999, their first playoff appearance since 2007 and their attractive home schedule (New England and Pittsburgh).
In a statement, Jaguars president Mark Lamping said: “Getting rid of the tarps has been our goal since Shad Khan purchased the team in 2012. Given the strength of our home schedule and the enthusiasm from the community, we will move forward without the tarps in 2018. Our fans created a real home field advantage for our final 2017 regular season games and home playoff appearance. We want to make sure that same home field advantage is a reality every time the Jaguars take the field this fall by giving fans access to even more affordable tickets. Season tickets in these newly opened areas will be priced at $45 per game.”
The Jaguars announced they have taken more than 5,000 deposits for new purchasers looking to secure their seats. By comparison, the number was only 700 at this time last year.
Season ticket prices in 2018 will increase by an average of 10.9 percent, although that increase varies across seating areas. The team projects that the Jaguars’ 2018 average ticket price will still rank in the bottom eight of all 32 NFL teams. Once available, new season tickets will start as low as $45. This is the first time in 10 years that a majority of ticket categories in the stadium will experience a price increase.
The uniform re-design will be revealed this spring. Current club, suite and terrace club season ticket holders who renew their seats will receive an authentic 2018 personalized Jaguars jersey.
The Jaguars also announced lower concession pricing. Items such as hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn, nachos, bottled soda and fountain drinks will cost $5 throughout the stadium. The Jaguars are following the model adopted by the Atlanta Falcons in 2017 at their new stadium.
All season ticket holders have until March 9 to renew. Loyalty pricing remains in-effect, meaning current members always pay less than new buyers in the same stadium seating category.
Also, the cost of parking at all Jaguars-controlled lots will remain the same.
Former Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver couldn’t resist installing tarps after five home games were blacked out on local TV during the 2004 season, part of a concerning lack of interest in the struggling franchise.
The Jaguars reduced their seating capacity by almost 10,000 for the following season — from 76,877 to its current 67,164 — by covering multiple upper-level sections.
Only three games were blacked out the following four seasons before an additional seven were blacked out during the 2009 season. The Jaguars haven’t had a blackout since.
The tarps became a hot topic earlier this year when the Jaguars received special permission from the NFL and two corporate sponsors to remove them ahead of their wild-card playoff game against the Buffalo in January. Removing the tarps created 3,501 additional seats for the franchise’s first home playoff game in 18 years.
The additional seats sold out in six minutes. The capacity for the win over Buffalo was 69,132.
Shortly after purchasing the team, Jaguars owner Shad Khan told the Times-Union: “To me, every day I look at the tarps, it is like underachieving, and I can’t wait to be able to do that [remove the tarps].”
The uniform combination will be the third in Khan’s six years of ownership.
In 2012, Khan’s first year, the Jaguars kept their uniforms before unveiling a two-toned helmet in April 2013.
The Jaguars’ helmet – part gold/part black – was a first in the NFL and remained the only two-toned helmet. The 2013-17 uniforms also included a shield ‘JAGS’ patch to honor the military.
At the time, Khan called the uniforms, “new, edgy and awe-inspiring.”
The Jaguars worked with Nike to put together the uniform design and they joined Seattle as the only two teams to wear the Nike Elite 51 uniforms, which included nine materials and different jersey types for linemen, skill players and quarterbacks.
In 2017, the Jaguars brought back their teal jerseys – much to the delight of their fan base – for two home games.
Teams are allowed to change their uniforms once every five years.