When the Jacksonville Jaguars host their first game of the 2014 preseason on Friday, August 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, fans will experience a lot more than the new largest-in-the-world video boards that were unveiled July 26. A never-ending drive to improve the game day experience and enhance fans' enjoyment at EverBank Field has created many new features and amenities that are sure to add to a 'wow' factor at Jaguars games.
"The video boards, spas and cabanas are just a start in our ongoing effort to give our fans the best in-stadium experience in the NFL," said Jaguars Owner Shahid Khan. "We're committed to giving you everything we have to win, but one thing we can guarantee you is a great day and unforgettable memories at EverBank Field."
"The start of a new season is always fun, and we have a lot to be excited about in Shad's third season of ownership of the Jaguars," said Jaguars President Mark Lamping. "From upgraded and cutting-edge technology to new food offerings, the in-stadium experience will be better than ever and precisely what our loyal fans deserve."
Following is a summary of many of the new developments, including Wi-Fi, video technology, new seating, new features, expanded offerings and new policies.
Beginning with the regular season, fans attending games at EverBank Field will enjoy unparalleled mobile connectivity with a state-of-the-art wireless solution. Wi-Fi will be available throughout the stadium, enabling fans to utilize their mobile devices to stay connected with social media, video, fantasy football and stats.
The Jaguars have teamed up with Extreme Networks,* *a high performance wired and wireless network provider, and technology integrator SignalShare. Together they developed a strategic relationship to deliver unparalleled mobile connectivity to EverBank Field, supplying Jaguars fans with a state-of-the-art wireless solution. The goal was to provide the best user experience with a solution the Jaguars organization can utilize as a delivery platform to offer essential applications and exclusive content to thousands of fans.
"Today's fans want to share their experiences at games in real-time and they expect a high level of connectivity that provides them the comfort and convenience to do so," said Extreme Network's Norman Rice, Senior VP of Corporate Development and GM, Sports & Entertainment. "Extreme Networks is committed to providing an unmatched user experience with simple, fast and smart technologies that empower organizations to deliver excellence. The Jaguars have the cutting-edge technology in place to offer a more connected experience for fans, and in turn, they will receive vital network insights into fan behavior and how to provide a more immersive experience for those attending EverBank Field."
Expanded State Farm Neighborhood Fan Cave
The popular "Fan Cave" located on the Sky Patio has doubled in size from last season, expanding to a second level. The attraction once again features high density Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs, Microsoft Surface Tablets, Xbox gaming consoles, fantasy stats, recliners courtesy of Ashley Furniture HomeStore, center bar and popular food offerings. With twice the space as before, including an open deck on top, the Fan Cave is a must-see destination on game day.
New in the Touchdown Club
There are several new food offerings in the Touchdown Club in 2014. Fans will find area favorites like Bono's Barbeque, Burrito Gallery, Uptown Market, Cowford's Chicken, Bold City Burger and Dos Gatos. There are also Club Tables in the bowl and Field Seating, two new seating features this season. The Fit and Fresh Zone is located on the upper level of the Touchdown Clubs, the Fresh and Fit Zone offers a Gluten Free Table, Create Your Own Salad Table and Healthy Grill Table.
North End Zone Deck
The North end zone deck is open to the public, so come see what everyone in Jacksonville is talking about. The premium concessions in the center of the North End Zone Deck are open to all fans, so please join us on game day to check out the culinary action that can only be matched by the action on the field! The Piadina Classico is our twist on the fan favorite. Picture a folder fire-roasted pizza topped with fresh Cappocolla, prosciutto, fontina and spicy arugula.
Daily's Convenience Stores is the newest Jamboree partner of the Jaguars. Season Ticket Members may stop by area locations* for the chance to earn up to $6 in Jags Dollars per visit. Season Ticket Members will earn $1 in Jags Dollars with the purchase of 10 gallons or more of gas, $2 in Jags Dollars with the purchase of a Daily's Dash combo meal, and $3 in Jags Dollars with the purchase of a premium car wash. Daily's Jags Dollar redemption tents will be located at EverBank Field inside gates 1, 2, 3 and 4 and in the Fan Entertainment Zone on game day. And there are now three Daily's Convenience Store locations inside EverBank Field: the East main concourse, the East Touchdown Club lower level, and the West Touchdown Club lower level. Daily's Jags Dollars are accepted by all stadium retailers, but are worth double the face value on their Daily's Jags Dollars at the Daily's in-stadium locations.
*Some locations do not offer the car wash or Daily's Dash.
With the two new spas on the North deck a qualified lifeguard crew is a must. The Jaguars' lifeguard team is led by Lieutenant Gary Daniels of the Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department. Lt. Daniels has nearly 30 years of experience as a fireman, paramedic, and rescue diver. The lifeguard team consists of six highly-qualified lifeguards. Tammy Shelley is Program Director of Patrick Air Force Base Fitness and Sports Center. In her role at the AFB she works closely with the 308th Para Rescue Squadron. Emilio Vargas has been a lifeguard with the City of Jacksonville for four years, and is preparing to join the Navy later in 2014. Allison Shirley was the first lifeguard hired by the Jaguars. She is a swim and surf instructor with Jacksonville Surf and Paddle. Colin Hardy is a lifeguard instructor as well as a high school swimming coach at John J. Bishop Snyder High School. Eric Bohn works with Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue and is a recipient of the Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue Public Service Award. Jason Caffey is a Lieutenant with the Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue Division. Bohn and Caffey both also volunteer for the American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps (ARCVLSC). The ARCVLSC assisted the Jaguars with lifeguard planning and training. They also donated a bit of Jax Beach history by building and donating the lifeguard chairs in use at the spas.
There are several new seating areas and offerings for the 2014 season, including eight North End Zone Plaza Spa Cabanas, North End Zone Bar Rails, 12 North End Zone Terrace Cabanas, Field Seating on the East side, and Club Tables in the Touchdown Clubs on the East and West sides of the stadium.
Smoking – Together, SMG (EverBank Field's facility management company), the City of Jacksonville, and the Jaguars have decided to adopt a smoke-free facility policy. This group decision was made to enhance the game day experience for all guests. In an effort to continue to accommodate smokers, we have identified the Plaza Ground Level as an acceptable smoking location, just inside the gates. Smoking is no longer permitted on the ramps or skywalks.
Bags – The same clear bag policy that was implemented last season is in place again this season. Bags will not be permitted inside the stadium unless they are clear and no larger than 12x12x6.
GameDay program – In August the Jaguars will unveil their new app, and it will feature the game day program for each game in electronic form. The Jaguars are no longer printing game programs, but watch for information about the new app and you'll be able to get your program right on your smart phone.
Coin Toss Tickets – The Coin Toss Ticket program offered the past two seasons has been terminated. Call the ticket office for your best ticket options.
Standing encouraged – While standing and cheering in the stadium is permitted, please keep in mind that continued standing can interfere with others' ability to enjoy the game from their seats. Fans interested in standing for the entire game may purchase seats in sections 123 and 124 where standing is encouraged in these sections.
Family Fun Zone –The Family Fun Zone rules prohibit drinking alcohol and using profanity in the section. The Family Fun Zone is located in section 227. Abuse of this policy within this section will result in loss of ticket privileges.
Video servers and instant replay
As part of the video board installation are two 8K Abekas Mira Production servers – one to run each of the 60' by 362' LED HD displays. Incorporated into broadcast operations upgrades at EverBank Field, the two 8K Mira Production servers are part of a larger commitment to Abekas multi-channel video servers which includes three, eight-channel Abekas Mira Instant Replay servers and an eight-channel Mira Production server.
Each Mira is configured to record six camera inputs and deliver dual program outputs which allows for transitions between replays and playlist playback within the Mira. Each of the three Mira operators "sells" their instant replays to the director who selects which replays and highlight packages go to air.
The 8K Mira Production servers were designed to support the resolution of the new displays, 7680 x 1080, and can record and play back Ultra HD 8K video and key clips. Graphical elements containing video or video key are imported via the Mira import tools and stored in the Mira for instantaneous playback. The Mira servers can be controlled from the Mira Explorer graphical user interface or seamlessly integrated into the production switcher.
"When we decided to put in the world's largest displays, we wanted to have the ability to show highly sophisticated and well produced content to engage our fans," said Hussain Naqi, Senior Vice President Fan Engagement for the Jaguars. "Since there was no production server on the market with the resolution and capabilities we wanted, we asked Abekas to develop this system for us and they came through with flying colors. The new Mira servers have met all our requirements at a reasonable cost. We were most impressed with Mira's simple and elegant workflow which makes all the difference in achieving our look on the big displays."
"The 8K resolution and the associated workflow is a demanding application for any video server and we are very pleased that we have been able to meet the Jaguars' requirements and that they have made such a strong commitment to the Mira family of multi-channel video servers," said Junaid Sheikh, CEO, Abekas. "This is our first NFL team and an amazing showcase for us."
"We evaluated a number of Instant Replay systems and ultimately selected the Abekas Mira because it did everything we wanted, was easy to use and was the best value for money," siad Naqi, "Being able to show replays from up to 18 cameras really boosts the entertainment value and fan engagement in the stadium throughout the game."