JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Thousands of fans packed EverBank Stadium for the Jaguars home opener Sunday afternoon, but dozens of people experience heat-related issues, with three dozen people needing to go to the hospital for treatment.
The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said crews saw 110 people and took 36 people to the hospital. Most of the people were seen for heat-related issues, JFRD says.
First Coast News Meteorologist Robert Speta said the high would be 89 degrees on Sunday.
The morning of the game, thousands of fans arrived at the stadium early, some tailgating for hours before kickoff. By 10:00 a.m. it was already 80 degrees outside with a high humidity percentage. By kickoff, it was up to 88 degrees.
The Jaguars have addressed ways to cool the stadium for fans during the hotter months. In June, when the team released renderings for what it calls "The Stadium of the Future," it also released design plans for one of the biggest changes: a closed roof.
The design would add a glass roof including a canopy over sections where fans sit and would open air passageways for better air flow.
Jaguars President Mark Lamping told First Coast News in June that reducing the heat in the stands for fans is one of the main reasons for the stadium renovation.
"Anyone who's been seated on the eastside of the stadium for a 1 o'clock kickoff on a hot September day knows it's almost unbearable," Lamping said. "We have more hospital transports for heat exhaustion during the month of September than any other month."