Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver was one of the first to sign the alarm about the 2006 labor agreement that has led to the current labor strife.
Although he voted for the deal that passed by a 30-2 margin (only Buffalo's Ralph Wilson and Cincinnati's Mike Brown voted no), Weaver said at the time the deal was not sustainable.
As the owner of a small-market team that has trouble selling tickets and usually breaks even, Weaver is very conscious of the bottom line.
But now that the owners have done the inevitable and locked the players out, Weaver is trying to be optimistic and is predicting the games will go on as scheduled.
In a letter he sent to season-ticket holders, he said, "It is my belief that an agreement on a new CBA will be reached and that we will play football in the fall. However, it seems that a new agreement will not be found in court, but rather at the negotiating table. I know that our fans, the players and the Clubs all want to get on with football."
Weaver is right that the fans, players and teams all want to get on with football.
But he may be overly optimistic that a deal can be reached that would save the entire season.
The two sides seem to be entrenched and unless a judge orders that the lockout has to be lifted, it may be difficult to get it settled in time to play the entire season.
The problem for Weaver is that if games are missed, it could make it more difficult for the Jaguars to sell tickets.
This is why Weaver stressed the Jaguars are doing "business as usual."
He said they are having no layoffs at this point although he has already alienated the assistant coaches by putting them on one-year contracts and denying them the opportunity to interview for lateral jobs.
But unlike some teams, he is not laying off any personnel. He's also going full-speed ahead with the ticket drive, promising to refund ticket money with interest for any games not played.
"Our ticket and sponsorship efforts will continue with business as usual. We will also be continuing hosting offseason events for our fans as we have done before," he said.
He added, "We made great progress last year by eliminating blackouts and our Team Teal goal this year is to sell out all games at EverBank Field in 2011. Our promise continues to be that fans will not pay for games that are not played, so there is no risk in buying your season tickets."
He then added a plea for fan support.
"We need your support more than ever in continuing to build a great NFL tradition in Jacksonville. Thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you at EverBank Field this season," he said.
The big question for the Jaguars is whether fans will continue to buy tickets during the lockout.
If they don't and it continues into the fall, the Jaguars could be scrambling to sell tickets once the lockout finally ends, assuming it doesn't wipeout the season.
Weaver Joins the Blame-the-Players Club
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