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Ticket-sales movement begins

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"Touchdown Jacksonville!" officially kicked off its offseason effort to sell out Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in 2010, with a pep rally outside the BudZone on Tuesday evening. About 900 fans attended the event, which followed a presentation and appeal to representatives of Jacksonville's 60-largest corporations to assist in the ticket-sales effort.

Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver, Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton, Jaguars General Manager Gene Smith, and movement organizers Carl Cannon and Tony Boselli addressed the crowd. Boselli, the first and only member of the Jaguars' "Ring of Honor," provided details of the ticket-sales strategy and asked those in attendance to become "team captains."

"I choose to live here now and I'll be darned if I'll let Los Angeles or any other city come and take our team," said Boselli, the first draft pick in Jaguars history in 1995.

Boselli told fans he wanted them to become "team captains" and "we want you to go find friends." Fans can become "team captains" by buying two season tickets and making a three-year commitment to maintaining those tickets.

More information about the ticket-sales movement can be found on the website myteamteal.com.

"Delores and I love this city. We are totally committed to this city. If we all come together, we can fill this place up. It brings out the best in our football team," Weaver said. "We have the best fans. We don't have enough of them but we have great ones."

Smith recently completed his first full year as the team's highest-ranking football operations executive. The hope is that Smith will follow what might be the best draft class in Jaguars history with another solid crop that would further establish the Jaguars as a postseason contender.

"We laid a strong foundation this first year. It'll enable us to take the next step toward our goal. We plan to be very aggressive in the out of season in acquiring championship personnel," Smith said.

Boselli praised Smith's work as "one of the things that gives me great confidence we're going in the right direction."

Earlier in the day, Weaver met with head coach Jack Del Rio and established a new direction for 2010. Weaver then met with reporters in the afternoon and said he is no longer accepting of average and wants the Jaguars to become one of the NFL's elite teams.

"I'll say it again: This team is committed to Jacksonville, we're going to be in Jacksonville and we're going to bring that ring, but we can't do it without the community helping us," Weaver told the crowd. "While we were disappointed with the way our season ended, I'm encouraged by what I saw. This team is going to be competing for the postseason next year."

Mayor Peyton began the festivities with a short speech that emphasized the importance of the Jaguars to Jacksonville's identity and prosperity.

"One thing everybody in the country knows is that Jacksonville is an NFL city. Having an NFL team is a stamp of approval. It's a powerful tool," Peyton said. "We have a history of overcoming in this city and we are at one of those moments again. The measuring stick of viability is ticket sales. We can sell out this stadium."

Thus, begins a movement that could go a long way toward determining the future of the NFL in Jacksonville.

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