You have to appreciate the Jacksonville Jaguars and even their fans. Despite a 15-33 record over the previous three games, the Jaguars haven't had to deal with a blackout at home during that span. And we're not talking about companies, like the local CBS affiliate, absorbing the costs of unpaid tickets to ensure a sellout. Yet the Jaguars are working ideas to improve the fan experience at the games.
New video screens are being installed at EverBank Field, including two of the biggest scoreboards in the world (not my words) that's part of an estimated $63 million in renovations. Adam Stites with Big Cat Country writes:
As part of the $63 million price tag, the city of Jacksonville will help with $43 million of the costs, while the team will cover the remaining $20 million. It was revealed that any cost overruns will be the responsibility of the team, and any savings on the project will go directly into further improvements on Everbank Field.
A portion of those screens may include a continuous feed from the RedZone channel.
"We know this would be welcomed by the large portion of our fans who are transplants to Jacksonville, as well as all fantasy football enthusiasts," Jaguars president Mark Lamping told the SportsBusiness Journal.
And according to the USA Today, Jacksonville is building a fantasy football lounge.
The air-conditioned, WiFi-equipped lounge is estimated to hold between 200 and 300 fans and include around 20 high-definition televisions, on which fans can watch other NFL games or the popular NFL Red Zone channel.
"This is designed to address the way our fans love watching football," Jaguars Senior VP/Fan Experience Hussain Naqi said. "That includes a positive WiFi experience and the ability to see out-of-town games."
The lounge also will have a bar overlooking the field in what Naqi said is an effort to provide some of the same comforts fans enjoy at home.
"Any NFL team is going to be looking to eliminate the obstacles that would prevent people from coming to the stadium," he said. "They want to be able to check fantasy scores, be able to access WiFi with no problems at all, and to do so in sort of a lounge-type setting."
I'm not sure how much of an impact these initiatives will encourage fans to attend the games. Someone that's borderline, perhaps. But a fan wanting to keep track of another team probably won't rely on the RedZone during the Jaguars game -- spend how much to watch RedZone at a stadium compared to at home? On the other hand, we really like the lounge idea. Though we'd argue not promoting the fantasy football aspect.
Blame that one on me though.
I think fantasy football saturates the sport because people tend to ignore the best parts about the game. Granted, fantasy football may introduce people to the sport, but they're understanding and learning not what makes the sport great. Only what's sexy.