We all share the disappointment that the players union turned down an excellent deal on Friday and has instead decided to litigate. I am in full agreement with the NFL and the other Clubs that the NFL had no practical choice after these actions except to lock out the players.
It is my belief that an agreement on a new CBA will be reached and that we will play football this fall. However, it seems clear that a new agreement will not be found in court, but rather at the negotiating table. I know that our fans, the players and the Clubs all want to get on with football.
We can expect some confusion and frustration over the next few weeks. However, as the courts deal with these issues, I am encouraged that Mr. Cohen and his colleagues at the Mediation Service are willing to facilitate further negotiations, and hope that those negotiations will start again sooner rather than later.
As to our football business, we continue to prepare for this important college draft and the 2011 season. Gene Smith and his staff are working night and day to improve our football team. Jack Del Rio and our coaches are assisting in these evaluations at the same time that they are doing intense study of our strategies and developing plans and improvements that they will incorporate when preparations for the season begin in earnest.
As I said, I firmly expect that we will play football this fall. Therefore, our ticket and sponsorship efforts will continue with business as usual. We will also continue hosting offseason events for our fans, as we have done before.
We made great progress last year by eliminating "blackouts" and our Team Teal goal this year is to "sell out" all games at EverBank Field in 2011. Our promise continues to be that fans will not pay for games that are not played, so there is no risk in buying your season tickets.
We need your support more than ever in continuing to build a great NFL tradition in Jacksonville. Thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you at EverBank Field this season.