Here’s an attendance situation that’s pure Jacksonville: despite selling out their first playoff game since 2000, the Jaguars won’t be pulling off the tarps that cover large swaths of EverBank Field.
UPDATE: Good news, Jaguars fans. The tarps are coming off.
Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. tomorrow and will only be available for purchase online. https://t.co/KcBtq8ugEl
— z-#Sacksonville (@Jaguars) December 28, 2017
Original story continues below.
Per First Coast News, the Jaguars won’t be removing the tarps even though they would surely sell seats, and possibly sell out. Why? Sponsors, to start. The sponsorships of the seat-covering tarps have been sold for the season, and, unlikely as it may have seemed in August, those sponsorships apparently also cover the playoffs, too.
In addition, NFL rules mandate that a team can’t simply yank the tarps off seats, but teams can apply for waivers; Oakland encountered the possibility of this exact situation last year. It’s also worth noting that pulling off tarps isn’t as simple as just printing a few more tickets; there are logistical concerns such as security and concessions to consider as well.
As ProFootballTalk notes, EverBank Field can handle 84,000 half-soused college football fans for the annual Georgia-Florida game with additional temporary seating, so the capacity is there. The Jaguars have self-imposed a cap of 65,000, though it’s worth noting that they’ve removed tarps in the past for attractive games. It’s tough to imagine a more attractive game for fans than a playoff, but then again, it’s tough to imagine a more appealing get for sponsors than literally the only NFL game of the moment in a premier timeslot.
The Jaguars last hosted a playoff game all the way back on Jan. 23, 2000, when Jacksonville lost to Tennessee 33-14 in the AFC Championship. (This was pre-Brady and Roethlisberger, remember.) This year, the Jaguars will host a game on Jan. 6 or 7, and could very well face a postseason rematch with Tennessee.