The Jaguars need to renew at least 85 percent of their season ticket base to have a realistic chance of selling out the general bowl for games at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium next season. That is an opinion offered by team chief financial officer Bill Prescott following last Friday's first renewal deadline.
"We're shooting for at least 85 percent renewal rate. The due date was Friday and we've got about 71 percent renewed. We've got three percent that told us they're not renewing their tickets and 26 percent we haven't heard from yet. Of that 26 percent, we need at least 14 percent, more than half of those people, to renew their seats," Prescott said from Orlando, site of this week's NFL owners meetings.
"We'll be reaching out to all of those people," Prescott said of the still-undecided season ticket holders. "On March 31, we'll release the seats if we haven't heard from them."
The numbers continue to be daunting, the result of a season ticket base that reached a low last season and could force the Jaguars to have to sell a record amount of season tickets this year to have any chance of televising the team's home games.
Prescott said the season ticket base is about 27,000, of which about 3,000 of those are the result of sponsorship and trade deals, leaving 24,000 paying customers.
"Outside of the inception of the franchise, the most new season tickets we sold in a year were 8,000. Looking to sell 15,000, 20,000 season tickets would be a tall undertaking," Prescott said.
Is he encouraged by the current 71 percent renewal rate?
"I think it's OK. We're definitely running ahead of last year and that's encouraging, but we need to get more than half of those people we haven't heard from to renew. If we get at least 85 percent renewal, that's still a long way to go to fill the general bowl. That's why that minimum number is so critical," Prescott said.
"I'm still hopeful we're going to get that 85 percent renewal. The fact that the 30/30 plan is going to end at the end of March, we should have a strong push," he added.