It was impossible to miss the strong contingent of Patriots fans donning their red, white and blue in support during a Week 13 trip to Sun Life Stadium in Miami. The number of Patriots fans seemed to come close to outnumbering the number of Dolphins fans in the stadium on that day, and the announced attendance was the largest (at least at the time) for any Dolphins home game this season.
Just as the Dolphins' ticket office might have sent a thank-you note to the Patriots for the extra business, the Jaguars can now do the same.
Earlier today, the Jaguars announced that additional tarps will be removed from the stands at EverBank Stadium for this Sunday's matchup with the Patriots due to high ticket demands for the game.
In following up with a member of the Jaguars media relations department, it turns out that tarps covering two sections -- 404 and 442 -- will be removed to accommodate the ticket sales, which marks a first for this season. The Jaguars have twice removed a single tarp for a home game in 2012, once against the Bears and then again when they hosted the Jets, with quarterback Tim Tebow making a homecoming trip to the Jacksonville area.
A number of factors could play into the ticket requests, including that this is the final home game of the season and will take place during the holidays, when some are visiting Florida to get away from the cold and others are returning home to be with family and friends.
But not to be overlooked, of course, is the role that the popularity of the Patriots likely plays in the ticket demand. Other successful franchises have fan bases renowned for traveling well (the Steelers, for one, come to mind), and the Patriots have developed a similar loyalty not just in New England, but around the country.
So while the Patriots will have to make the roughly 1,100 mile trip to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars this weekend, it's looking like they'll have a cast of supporters there to cheer them on come kickoff.