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Jaguars staff anticipate full capacity games for 2021 season

Jaguars staff say COVID-19 safety and prevention measures will be in place for the 2021 season.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As more people get the COVID-19 vaccine, sports teams are hoping to see large crowds in the stands in the coming months.

Season ticket renewals for the Jaguars opened Tuesday. The team is planning to have a full capacity stadium in the fall.

The pandemic greatly reduced crowds at Jaguars games in 2020, canceled events at the nearby arena and put the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp baseball season on hold.

If health officials allow, Jaguars staff anticipate the stadium will be open at 100% capacity, and demand for tickets is rising.

“Fans definitely want to come back," Chad Johnson, senior vice president of sales and service and chief content officer explained. "But they have to be feeling they have to make sure they feel safe. They have to make sure that they see the measures taking place,"

Social distancing and COVID-19 protocols will still be in place when the new season kicks off.

"Contactless payment, new metal detectors that you can walk through without having to have a visual bag inspection, self-manned ticket kiosks so you could scan your own ticket, mobile ordering from your seats," Johnson explained.

He also said extra entry points will be added to reduce bottlenecks at the gate with fans.

During last season, the Jaguars were one of the few NFL teams allowing fans though capacity was reduced to 25%, around 17,000 fans.

Dr. Mobeen Rathore, epidemiologist and chief of infectious diseases with the University of Florida, said there are positive signs the pandemic is coming to an end but says to remain cautious about large gatherings.

“All our efforts should be focused on making sure that whatever we do, whenever we do, we follow all the smart recommendations made by the CDC,” Dr. Rathore said.

The CDC says indoor events, especially in places with poor ventilation, pose more risk of contracting COVID-19 than outdoor events.

Johnson says the Jaguars are following guidelines from the CDC, the NFL along with local and state health officials.

"Right now everyone's keeping an eye on the vaccinations and how quickly we're rolling that out and to how many people we can reach in each local market," Johnson said. "The NFL keeps a pulse on that and works very closely with the CDC." 

He said a final decision on capacity guidelines has not been made but will include input from various officials.

"When the time comes to make that final decision, all the information from those parties, whether it be local state, or NFL will have input onto what that final capacity will be," Johnson said.

Existing season ticket holders have until April 9 to renew their seats, but new season ticket customers can call 904-633-2000 for options.

Johnson says fans have full flexibility with changes if health officials roll back capacity limits for sporting events.

   

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