Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

The big question

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Rajesh from Jacksonville:
I believe Jaguars relocation is not an imminent threat. I believe team will be here next year. Will you be kind enough to warn us, if you believe that any given year is the final year of franchise?

Vic: Sure, but by then the hay will be in the barn. I don't think all of this should be perceived as a threat, but I think it's fair warning that the circumstances regarding professional football in Jacksonville are not optimum, and the franchise will become vulnerable if the circumstances don't improve. I don't see anything insulting or threatening about that because I believe it's the truth. As I have written previously, some poor town is going to lose its team. That's a fact. I don't want Jacksonville to be that town and Jacksonville can be erased from the list of candidates if it just does one thing: fills the stadium. Am I making a ticket-sales pitch for the Jaguars? No. I'm just telling you the truth. Filling the stadium is the real issue. In my opinion, and I truly believe this, the other issues will quickly fade away. I believe the city will get together with Wayne Weaver and the two parties will resolve their differences, which, in my opinion, are minor in comparison to the stadium and lease problems that chased teams out of Cleveland, Houston, Baltimore and Los Angeles. I also believe the NFL will institute a revenue-sharing measure that will ease the burden of small-market teams. Ticket sales are what's necessary to stabilize this franchise. As soon as the Jaguars fill the stadium, this will no longer be an issue. As it stands now, it is dominating the e-mails to "Ask Vic," and understandably so.

Mark from Wichita, KS:
I am just as interested as anyone else about the possibility of the Jags moving to LA and the past forums have been filled with information regarding that, but is there any good news to report about the Jags?

Vic: Here's some good news: The Jaguars only have three draft picks who were unsigned as of this morning. The team has done a great job of getting players signed and I think that clearly says something about Wayne Weaver's willingness to spend money.

Mike from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
You said New Orleans is on the top of many lists to possibly move to LA, with one of the main reasons for that being major stadium problems. If the stadium is not good enough for an NFL franchise, how is it good enough for New Orleans to be considered the premium Super Bowl site?

Vic: The main stadium problem the Saints are facing is a lack of premium seating, such as luxury suites and club seats. The Superdome is 30 years old and it lacks the kind of state-of-the-art revenue streams that are driving franchises in today's game. A lack of premium seating isn't a problem in hosting a Super Bowl. All seats are premium.

Chris from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Thank you for explaining how Jacksonville, not Green Bay, is clearly the smallest market in the NFL. I'm no geography major but aren't Gainesville and Daytona Beach roughly about the same distance from Jacksonville that Milwaukee is from Green Bay? So why are these cities not included in our market area?

Vic: For the same reason Milwaukee isn't included in Green Bay's DMA (Designated Market Area). You have to make the distinction between DMA and EMA (Extended Market Area). Milwaukee is in Green Bay's EMA, just as Gainesville and Daytona Beach are in Jacksonville's EMA. Now, if you rank NFL teams according to their EMA's, Jacksonville is, by far, the smallest market in the league.

Terrence from Jacksonville:
Is Jacksonville's situation with the NFL as bad as New Orleans' or Minnesota's? Are we just blowing this up? Will winning change all these negative vibes?

Vic: Winning will change all of this if winning fills the stadium, but what about when you're losing? You see, that's when you judge the real strength of a franchise. Winning should always fill the building – hey, if you can't fill it up when you're winning, it may be time to send up the white flag, right? – but selling out in losing years sends a clear signal that this franchise is unmovable, so to speak. That's what Minnesota has going for it. The Vikings sell-out. It's one of those franchises that fills the building in losing years. From that standpoint, the Vikings hold a major edge over the Jaguars. What makes the Vikings vulnerable is their stadium situation. They need a new stadium; the Jaguars don't. As you can see, nothing about the Jaguars and the Vikings is similar. The Saints, on the other hand, have problems on both fronts. The Saints have ticket-sales and stadium problems. At this point in time, the Saints are far more vulnerable than the Jaguars. The Saints' ace in the hole, as I've written, is that the NFL considers New Orleans to be its premium Super Bowl destination. Does that insulate New Orleans from losing the Saints? I don't know.

Tonga from Inglewood, CA:
I'm from LA so I would love to see the Jags come here. I have one question and I think it's the big question: Do Jacksonville fans deserve a football team?

Vic: You know, some people would question whether Los Angeles fans deserve one.

Jason from Amarillo, TX:
With the recent talk of the Jaguars' past salary cap issues, and you predicting what basically happened to the Jaguars cap, which teams do you think are going to be in for a reality check after their recent years of glory, namely the Patriots and Eagles, who have been on top now for the past few years?

Vic: Predicting salary cap problems is like predicting that two trains on the same track headed in opposite directions will wreck. All you have to do is look at the numbers. Predicting the Jaguars' doom was simple. They kept converting the current year's salary into signing bonus and amortizing it out over future years. Gee, wadda ya think is gonna happen? Try that with your credit card. Make the minimum monthly payment and keep spending with both hands and, eventually, you're going to reach your limit. The Titans did that and now they have problems. The Redskins have done that in recent years and they are on the verge of becoming the next Titans. The Patriots and Eagles, on the other hand, are astute managers of the salary cap and their caps are as healthy as any team's in the league. Ask Lawyer Milloy and Duce Staley. The Patriots and Eagles aren't afraid to let a veteran go and replace him with a young guy. That's how you keep your cap healthy. Young players are affordable and you have to have a constant supply of them ready to go.

Eric from Palm Coast, FL:
I know you're probably sick of the LA talk, but I still can't get anyone to tell me why LA needs a team? Didn't they already have the Raiders and Rams? Why put another team there?

Vic: For the final time, putting a team in LA is about TV ratings and TV contracts. There are five-and-a-half million TV households in Los Angeles, which is second in the country only to New York. Not having a team in LA weakens the NFL's position in contract negotiations with the TV networks.

Scott from Seffner, FL:
I don't fully understand the process of ticket sales. Can you sell out the entire stadium through season tickets or is there a percentage saved for single-game tickets? Also, is the lack of ticket sales right now reflective upon season tickets or tickets in general?

Vic: The Jaguars would love to sell-out Alltel Stadium with season tickets. That's what the strong franchises do. They are required to save a few single-game tickets to offer to visiting teams but, otherwise, they sell 'em all on a season-ticket basis. At this point in time, all of the Jaguars' ticket sales have been to season-ticket holders. The Jaguars will begin single-game ticket sales on Aug. 20.

Keith from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I just wanted to let you and everyone else know that it's going to be OK. Forget about the empty seats, the backfield issues, the might-be's at right cornerback. Run, Forest, run! Sign him and they will come.

Vic: You know, I almost believe you. It wouldn't be the first time a player has been credited with saving a franchise. On the heels of the "Black Sox" scandal, Babe Ruth was given credit for saving baseball. Maybe Matt Jones will become the player who saves the Jaguars. I'd like to write that story.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content