Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Fans Lose in OT

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Fans Lose in OT

Article excerpt

An extra 24 hours wasn't enough to keep tomorrow's Jaguars' preseason game at Alltel Stadium from being blacked out on local television.

Because the team failed by yesterday's 8 p.m. extended deadline to sell at least 58,000 tickets, First Coast viewers won't be able to watch the nationally televised game against Kansas City on WJXT TV-4.

This will mark the first time since the team began play in 1995 that a home game has been blacked out.

"We're obviously disappointed," TV-4 general manager Sherry Burns said last night. "But our biggest concern is the fans. Nobody wants to see this happen."

The National Football League's blackout policy requires a game to be sold out 72 hours in advance or the game can't be shown within a 75mile radius on network television or a 35-mile radius on cable.

By Monday's 8 p.m. deadline the Jaguars were still about 4,800 tickets short of the 58,000 sellout mark. Although the stadium's official capacity is 73,000, unsold suites, club seats, handicapped seats, restricted view seats and the seats reserved for military are not counted against the sellout threshold.

At the request of Jaguars officials, the NFL granted the team a 24-hour extension. But the team still fell roughly 4,000 tickets short after selling only about 800 yesterday.

This didn't surprise Bill Prescott, the Jaguars' chief financial officer, after a lackluster weekend of ticket sales.

"I know that from over the weekend we didn't see that much of a push, and we didn't see that much of a push yesterday [Monday], which is when I thought the push would occur," Prescott said. "It bothers me that the fact the streak has ended. It's something that you don't want to see happen, especially with the enthusiasm in Jacksonville."

The NFL's blackout policy also applies to sports bars, so anyone wanting to watch the game will have to travel outside the blackout zone to cities such as Orlando, Daytona Beach, Ocala, Tallahassee and Valdosta. …

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