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Khan: "It should be a notch up"


JACKSONVILLE – Jaguars Owner Shad Khan's ready for some football.

Some home playoff football, to be exact.

The Jaguars on Sunday will make their first playoff appearance in six seasons under Khan's ownership. It will be an AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Buffalo Bills at EverBank Field at 1:05 p.m.

The Jaguars have won five consecutive games at the 'Bank, with the last two victories – over the Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans – coming in front of back-to-back sellout crowds.

"It should be a notch up," Khan said of the atmosphere.

Interest in Sunday's game is high, with one allotment of tickets selling out in 61 minutes last Wednesday. The Jaguars made an additional 3,501 seats available by removing tarps two days later, with those seats and an accompanying standing-room allotment selling out in five minutes.

Tickets for Sunday's game are selling on the secondary market higher than face value, with the cheapest available ticket more than double the cheapest available at any of the other three Wild Card games this weekend.

The Jaguars last had a home playoff game in 1999 and last made the postseason in 2007. The Bills last made the postseason in 1999.

"Can you imagine? The hottest ticket in football is right here? Selling for five or six times face value?" Khan said during a meeting with local writers and reporters at EverBank Field Thursday. "Could you believe that happening in friggin' Jacksonville? Part of that is obviously the Bills, who haven't been in. We haven't been in. Great weather. Great game experience. It rolls up a lot of things."

Added Khan, "That's the NFL model. Eight new clubs in the playoffs this year: 'It's good for the league.' "

Khan said the importance of fans can't be underestimated.

"One thing we have proven is fans matter," Khan said. "They matter in every stadium, and they matter for us. We want them in the seats. It's not the money; it's more the energy. You sell a ticket and they don't show up, that's not a good thing. We want them showing up."

Also on Thursday:

*Khan addressed the improvement this season of quarterback Blake Bortles. The Jaguars picked up a one-year option on Bortles last offseason, guaranteeing him $19 million if he plays for the team in 2018. "Maybe we're not the biggest idiot on the football block," Khan said. "When his option was picked up, it was like, 'What are these guys smoking?' He's from the area. He's a nice guy. He's talented. He has stayed healthy. We are invested. We want him to succeed."…

*Khan on the team's success this season: "You guys probably don't remember, but I think in August when this seemed to be like another hopeless season blah, blah, blah … .. I told you guys we had everything here to win now. I felt that way. That's been the approach. We're not in a rebuilding mode. I think we've done our rebuilding. If we're not winning, it's something we haven't done right."…

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