Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Whither the Value of Jags Season Tickets?

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Whither the Value of Jags Season Tickets?

Article excerpt

Byline: Charlie Patton, Times-Union columnist

Imagine a widget factory moves to town amid much hoopla.

Everybody in town seems excited about the impact the widget factory is going to have. To help support the widget factory, you rush out and buy a $10 widget. So do many of your friends and neighbors.

Time passes. Demand for widgets slows. People say the widget factory may be in trouble. So the Chamber of Commerce convinces local businesses to buy widgets and then sell them at a discount. Soon some of your friends and neighbors are getting their $10 widgets for $6.

Still, there are too many unsold widgets. So a major corporation steps in and buys the complete widget inventory and begins giving them away. You are left wondering how smart it was to pay $10 for a widget somebody else got free.

That's not a perfect metaphor.

Football tickets aren't widgets. The Jacksonville Jaguars, rightly or wrongly, are regarded as more than just a business. They are regarded by many as a genuine civic asset.

I believe that the NFL's decision to award a franchise to Jacksonville was the single most dramatic event in the 25 years I've lived here. The way people think and feel about living in Jacksonville has changed dramatically in the last decade. This was once a city with a profound inferiority complex. No more. That's the influence of the Jaguars.

So Winn-Dixie's decision to guarantee it will buy enough unsold tickets for each Jaguars home game to assure that no game this season is blacked out will benefit the whole city, not just the people who will end up with free tickets. Thanks to Winn-Dixie, the Jaguars will be a business success this season and nobody will be denied the opportunity to watch each and every Jaguars game from the comfort of the living room couch.

It's a brilliant marketing move by Winn-Dixie, which secures scads of good will and assures that its television advertisement during Jaguars broadcasts will be seen by the widest possible audience. …

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