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'Teal Deals' to the rescue


The idea is so good it could save the franchise.

"It could," Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver said.

Weaver was referring to the brainstorm that is the idea of Jacksonville restaurateurs Joe Adeeb of Bono's and Bobby Handmaker of Cruiser's. Adeeb and Handmaker, Jaguars fans who are most passionate about Jacksonville, put their heads together and gave birth to "Teal Deals," which Weaver, Mayor John Peyton and the "Touchdown Jacksonville!" boys presented at a press conference on Tuesday.

What's "Teal Deals?"

"It's a huge deal for the Jaguars but it's putting back $110 million into the Jacksonville economy," Weaver said.

More personally, it's taking your wife out to dinner for the next 40 nights at half price. Hey, if she buys a season ticket, too, it's the two of you going out to dinner the next 80 nights at half price.

Weaver and company unveiled a marketing strategy on Tuesday that'll be the envy of every team in the NFL that is struggling to sell tickets.

"Anybody who buys a season ticket gets a 'Teal Deals' booklet. It's almost like getting free season tickets," Mint Magazine and "Teal Deals" publisher Brian Flynn (pictured) said.

Here's how it works: You buy a season ticket, you get a booklet worth $2,000 in retail discounts from a battery of Jacksonville's most recognizable retailers. Adeeb guessed that there are 40 participating restaurants. Take half off every purchase, at retailers ranging from Jiffy Lube to Pearle Vision. Buy a pizza and get another one for free at Domino's. Give the dog a weekend getaway at Pet Paradise. Play golf at one of the Hampton courses for cart fees only.

So you love to dip Italian bread in olive oil? Go to Carrabba's and do it for $10 off a 20-dollar dinner. Want some barbecue? Go to Adeeb's Bono's and Handmaker's Cruiser's Grill and get the same deal.

The intent of this marketing bonanza is for it to sell about 13,000 season tickets Weaver said is the gap between selling out the general bowl for next season's games, or suffering through another season of TV blackouts. Weaver told the audience at Tuesday's press conference that 21,281 season tickets remain to be sold, but 8,000 of those are being aggressively moved into the group sales category, leaving about 13,000 season tickets remaining to be sold for the Jaguars to put next year's games on local TV.

"We know we're not going to sell 21,281 tickets, so we're going to fill the bucket with 8,000 group sales tickets. With 'Teal Deals,' there's no question we can get there," Weaver said.

Mayor Peyton, who kicked off the "Touchdown Jacksonville!" movement that saved the day for last year's game against the Colts, was on hand to lend moral support.

"It's hard to imagine Jacksonville without the Jaguars. The reality is we have to be able to sell tickets. If you do the math, we still have a ways to go. We have to keep the momentum. We're in the home stretch," Peyton said.

"We have frozen our ticket prices the last three years. We're doing everything we can. We just want to make sure the community participates in Jaguars football any way we can. We have to get our games on television to grow that fan base. We also want the elderly to participate in Jaguars football by watching it on television," Weaver said.

"It's an incredible value and it's really going to move the needle on where we need to go," he added of the "Teal Deals" idea.

Maybe it'll save the franchise.

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