Goodell Believes Jacksonville is Worthy

It's no secret that the Jacksonville Jaguars have had troubles selling tickets. If you don't believe us, try to find a Jaguars home game on television. In two home games this season, the Jags are yet to draw 50,000 for either of the games, roughly 18,000 people shy of a sellout.

With the team's struggles with attendance, it certainly brings up the possibility of the Jaguars moving to Los Angeles, or San Antonio, or London, or wherever the next potential NFL city will be. A large part of the Jacksonville community has yet to embrace the only major sport in their town, and it seems as if it's only a matter of time until Wayne Weaver, now 74 years of age, will be tired of running the franchise. Although Weaver has vowed to keep the Jaguars as the Jacksonville Jaguars, there have been no such promises made by whoever the next owner will be.

The blackouts that are likely to continue throughout this season has certainly put a target upon the city of Jacksonville, as far as NFL relocation, and the tarping of the seats from a few years ago further perpetuate the stigma that Jacksonville is not a pro football town.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell weighed in about what is going on in Jacksonville, and he believes that the town is indeed worthy of an NFL franchise.

"Wayne and I speak on a regular basis about what is happening in the Jacksonville market," the NFL commissioner said. "I think the Jacksonville community, both the business leadership and the broader community, have really identified how important the Jaguars are to them and how important it is to support them. They are passionate football fans in Jacksonville. I think they've now understood the importance of making sure they support the team."

Goodell believes that the Jaguars are doing what they can to help the Jacksonville consumers afford the NFL product.

"There are fans obviously though who are being impacted by what's going on in the economy," Goodell said in the NFL's annual meeting Wednesday. "We recognize that. Wayne has tried to market to them in a way that will allow them to get to the stadium easily. I don't mean that physically. I mean to allow them the ability to buy smaller packs where they are going to two to three games as opposed to a full season ticket; to allow them extended payment terms. I think we're doing all the right things to market to them and helping our fans through what is a very difficult period for them."

The Jaguars are seemingly going above and beyond to take affordability as far out of the equation as possible, in terms of purchasing tickets for potential buyers, but Goodell believes that not all of the Wayne Weavers ticket issues have to do with the current economic climate.

"Not all of it is economy related," Goodell exclaimed. "Some of these are market issues that are factors too. They are having difficult economies in all of our markets, and they are selling tickets at record pace in some markets. You have to balance the issues that might have to be market driven versus general economic factors."

Many believe that if the Jaguars were to draft local hero and University of Florida legend Tim Tebow, the team would see an immediate boost in ticket sales. It's likely that there would be some sort of increase, but is a minor escalation be worth going away from building a football team on football decisions? Not likely. If Tebow is the highest rated football player on their board when it's their turn to select then by all means he should be the pick. If they're doing it to sell tickets, then everyone in the scouting department should be replaced with marketing execs, and they should run the team.

The Jaguars have a lot to figure out as far as whether or not sustaining an NFL franchise is possible in Jacksonville. They overachieved as far as ticket sales to get the team, and now they must overachieve again to keep the team and move away from being the attendance joke of the entire league.

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