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"The Jaguars are our team"


Wayne Weaver continued spreading his message Friday afternoon.

That message:

Not only that there will be football in 2011, and that that likely will mean a 16-game NFL regular season, but that he believes the Jaguars will continue their recent improvement during that season both on and off the field.

"We're going to play football in 2011," Weaver told a Team Teal event at Acosta Sales and Marketing on Jacksonville's Southside Friday.

Weaver, who spent the early part of the week at the NFL Owners Meetings in New Orleans, La., said he believes it's unlikely the NFL will miss games because of the current lockout, and that the team's emphasis remains on preparing for the 2011 season.

He said a priority is maintaining momentum built from strong ticket sales last off-season – a point also made by Team Teal "Commissioner" Tony Boselli, the Jaguars' five-time Pro Bowl left tackle from 1996-2000.

The Jaguars last off-season did not have a game blacked out, raising season-ticket sales from the previous season by 44 percent and overall attendance by 26 percent.

"The reason we did that was because it was about the community," Boselli said. "It was about the Mayor's office. It was about the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was about businesses and corporations. It was about people saying, 'You know what? This is important. We're going to support this team.'

" 'We understand this is Jacksonville. The Jaguars are our team.' "

Boselli said the success of last off-season – and last year's 8-8 season – must be built upon moving forward.

"We have a great fan base," Boselli said. "We have to grow on what we did last year. We're pushing just as hard as we did last year. We have to build."

Robert Hill, Jr., Acosta's President and Chief Executive Officer, said the support Acosta shows the Jaguars is "because it's the right thing to do.

"It's the right thing to support the team," he said. "It's the right thing to support the community. It's the right thing to support our economy."

Weaver emphasized that there is no risk for fans purchasing tickets for the 2011 season.

"If we miss games, we refund their money with interest," Weaver said, adding, "The perception is that Jacksonville is not a great NFL market. That couldn't be further from the truth. We are a great NFL market. We're a small market and we're growing.

"We have passionate fans and we need this kind of effort from the entire community. We have to keep the momentum going."

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