by David Champion
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell joined Jacksonville Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver on Monday to meet 200 area business leaders and continue the Team Teal ticket-drive initiative.
“We’re now in the red zone with our ticket drive,” said Weaver, sitting next to Goodell during a 30-minute media session Monday morning.
Weaver said there were 4,500-5,000 season tickets to sell before everyone “could erase the word ‘blackout’ in our community.”
Weaver said he initially asked Goodell to make a trip to Jacksonville if the ticket drive initiative were successful enough to merit a meeting to boost the message during the few weeks before the first preseason game.
Reporters asked the commissioner questions about topics including a potential 18-game schedule, collective bargaining agreement discussions, overall prices and potential regrets on fielding a team in Jacksonville.
One word kept cropping up: opportunity.
“It’s a great opportunity for the community to demonstrate their passion for football,” said Goodell, in response to a question.
Goodell said that there is pressure on every franchise to field a team in front of a sold-out stadium, later adding that clubs have to continue to work harder in adverse economic conditions, which each team has done.
As for Goodell’s ideas of the future of the team in Jacksonville, he was optimistic.
“I think this team is going to continue to be successful here,” he said.
The meeting followed a week capped by two naming-rights deals. EverBank agreed to buy rights to the stadium, now called EverBank Field. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida agreed to sponsor the Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields.
An ordinance authorizing a naming rights agreement among EverBank, the Jaguars and the city is scheduled at the City Council Finance Committee at 10 a.m. today at Council Chambers in City Hall.