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After big season for Jaguars, tarps coming off upper deck for home games in 2018

The Jacksonville Jaguars came painfully close to making Super Bowl LII. They’ll enter the 2018 season as a hot pick to make it to Super Bowl LIII.

The Jaguars are riding that momentum and finally selling tickets to the entire stadium. The team announced tarps will come off the upper deck and for the first time since 2005, the Jaguars will sell tickets for the entire stadium for regular-season games. Taking off the tarps in the west upper deck will add 3,501 seats, the Jaguars said.

More importantly than offering about 3,500 seats is the symbolism. It removes a sore spot for the team and its fans. As the NFL rose to unprecedented success, having a team having to tarp off its seats to restrict capacity stood out in a bad way. That won’t be the case for at least next season.

“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,” said Jaguars president Mark Lamping said in a statement. “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 also announced they’ll have new uniforms and helmets in 2018. It seems like a new era for the franchise, and they’re going all in with it.

This is all possible because of a surprising 2017 season. The Jaguars went 10-6, won the AFC South, won playoff games against the Bills and Steelers and led the Patriots by 10 points in the fourth quarter of the AFC championship game before Tom Brady led a New England comeback win. The Jaguars have one of the best defenses in the NFL and some bright young stars on offense. They had three straight sellouts to end the regular season, and have 5,000 deposits from fans looking to get season tickets, the team said. That number was about 700 at this time last year, according to the Jaguars.

The time was right to strike. The Jaguars are on a wave like they haven’t been in a long time. Khan and the Jaguars have been building to this for a while, and now more fans will be able to see if they can keep the good times rolling into the 2018 season.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are expanding their capacity in 2018 by removing tarps from the upper deck. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!