Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Faces of lockout: Jags' ticket booster
By Paul Kuharsky
Selling season tickets during the lockout hasn't been easy for Tony Boselli and the Jaguars.
The NFL lockout has put players and owners in limbo. The ripple effects are also felt by people whose lives or businesses touch their teams. Here are their stories:
He championed his former team, putting on the hard sell.
And last offseason as the face of Team Teal, Tony Boselli did wonders for the Jaguars, spearheading a campaign that re-energized the market, sparked ticket sales and moved the franchise forward in a big way with ticket sales.
Once the national punch line on attendance jokes, the Jaguars didn’t have a single home game blacked out in 2010. Team Teal did a lot in getting an average of around 63,000 fans to EverBank Field for home games. At the start of the season, 38,894 of those were season tickets.
But as Boselli and Team Teal readied for a second offseason push, to ensure renewals and sell more tickets, they came up against something as tough as any defensive end who rushed against Boselli during his superb career as a left tackle: the NFL lockout.
“We’re behind where we were last year at this point,” Boselli said. “We didn’t have the percentage of renewals we did last year, which was very good and very high. ...
“There is a lot of work to be done to get people back on board and buying tickets.”
The team keeps a chart at its website tracking the status of ticket sales. The Jaguars need to sell an additional 18,633 tickets per game to ensure the general bowl is full, which ensures a game isn’t blacked out in the home market.
“They’re going to buy the tickets when a deal is done,” the tireless and ever-optimistic Boselli said. “I’m disappointed we are where we are. But it’s not hopeless, I’m not completely discouraged thinking, 'Oh gosh, we’re back where we were two years ago with a very stale fan base, not supporting the team, not showing up.'