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Selling more tickets the only option

Join *Jaguars Inside Report *Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Jonathan Richard from Jacksonville:
With all the talk about how bad this team was and who goes and who stays, no one is addressing the fact Jacksonville had regular season games blacked out. It does not seem the team will be much better in the 2002 season. What, if anything, can be done by the Jaguars front office and Mr. Weaver to fill Alltel in the upcoming year?

Vic:
The Jaguars are going to pursue an aggressive ticket marketing campaign, which will include reduced prices, especially in the upper-deck seats. That's the only way to solve this problem; sell tickets. The NFL is not going to change its TV blackout policy. In fact, Wayne Weaver has maneuvered around the blackout rules to have games telecast in the Jacksonville market that would not have been shown in other teams' home markets.

J.D. Groover from Kingsland, GA:
Where are the Jaguars likely to have their first-round draft slot? If it's high, and we go by your best-available method, who should we get?

Vic:
The Jaguars will have the ninth pick of the draft. I'm not attempting to dodge your next question, but it's too early to know what players would fit in that area. We'll start to get an idea following the Indianapolis scouting combine workouts in February.

Chuck Brent from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I listen to your radio show every week and subscribe to Jaguars Inside Report. Great stuff! What is it going to take for the people in Jacksonville to understand what a blessing they have in the Jaguars and Mark Brunell, and get behind this team? Do they have to win the Super Bowl? I can see it now; 10 years from now the team will move to Orlando and Brunell will retire and the Gator and Seminole fans around here will finally realize they had something pretty good. I understand following a college, but when you have a choice to see a competitive game in the NFL with the top talent in the country, or seven of the nine games a year the Gators and Seminoles each win 72-13, it's a no-brainer. Is the mentality here that it's more fun to win even if you're playing the NW Louisiana State Tech Tackling Dummies than it is to see a team really work hard to beat a team with equal talent in the NFL? I don't get it.

Vic:

Loyalties die hard. College football was here long before the NFL came to Jacksonville. People tend to resist change and they may perceive the Jaguars as being a threat to the way it has always been in Jacksonville. In time, the "threat" aspect will wear off. I love college and professional football equally. Chuck, the Jaguars aren't going anywhere. Wayne Weaver is as committed to Jacksonville as he is to his football team.

Kelly Arnold from Jacksonville:
I've been a fan of football since I was little. My earliest memories are of Elway's famous drive against the Browns and Bo Jackson against the entire Seahawks roster. Anyway, sitting here reading about x-million dollars for this guy and x-million for that guy got me to wondering. This might sound like a weird question, but when was it that players started receiving these astronomical sums of money for playing football?

Vic:
The most perceptible salary leap began with the Collective Bargaining Agreement and advent of an unrestricted free agency system that began in 1993. Once a team could sign a veteran player without having to compensate his original team, true free agency began. Two years later, when the expansion Jaguars and Panthers entered the league, salaries really skyrocketed. That was the result of two teams with empty salary caps. Last winter marked the first perceptible move in the other direction. Teams were capped out and unable to bid the big bucks for star players. That's what's best about the salary cap system. It governs what teams can spend, and each year's salary cap amount is determined by the overall market value of the league. The salary cap is the league's great stabilizer.

Vic Ketchman is the Senior Editor of Jaguars Inside Report, the official team newspaper of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One-year subscriptions may be purchased by calling 1-888-846-5247.

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