JAGUARS NOTEBOOK: Club touts off season projects as enhancements to fan experience

ALLEN ROBINSON (15)
By MIKE BONTS
Jacksonville SportsDay
Coming off a 5-11 record last season the Jacksonville Jaguars unveiled off field plans at last month’s State of the Franchise presentation. Owner Shad Khan and president Mark Lamping unveiled designs and details for three new projects for EverBank Field, as well as the club’s 2016 ticket pricing.

“All of us are proud to take this opportunity to give our fans and partners a crystal clear look into where the Jacksonville Jaguars are as a franchise, and where we plan to be in the future.  And we plan to be in Jacksonville,” Khan said.  “But, we don’t want to be a franchise, on or off the field, that merely exists.  We want to thrive and be respected.  

The stadium improvements include a complete re-imagining of the US Assure Clubs, a covered Flex Field and an amphitheater. All were approved unanimously by Jacksonville City Council in December.

US Assure Clubs - The design includes the installation of a glass wall between the Upper and Lower Clubs and the stadium bowl on each side of the stadium  The improvements will include the installation of premium seating products—club tables and bar rails; distinct theming of each Club interior to reflect the demographics and tastes of fans; and upgraded premium padded seats for all club patrons.

Covered Flex Field - Will be located along Gator Bowl Boulevard at the south end of the stadium, is designed to serve multiple purposes. It will be a climate-controlled, covered pavilion with multi-use synthetic turf. Sliding “hangar” doors will allow the space to be used both in closed and open air formats. The facility will provide a venue for the football team to practice during inclement weather, and entertainment events on game days as well as year-round events for other special purposes.

Amphitheater -  Designed with 5,500 fixed seats and additional room for temporary seating. It will be located at the south end of the stadium, under a continuous roof that will cover both the amphitheater and the Flex Field. 

Ticket Pricing – In 2016, 5 percent of the seats in the stadium will decrease in price. Ten percent will be unchanged and 46 percent will be unchanged if they are renewed before the early renewal deadline of Feb. 29. The effective increase in average ticket price will be 3.6 percent. 

ROBINSON BOWLS THEM OVER - Jaguars’ second-year wide receiver Allen Robinson made the most of being named to the 2016 Pro Bowl in Honolulu. Robinson had a game-high 102 receiving yards including a 55-yard reception and a 50-yard TD catch in his first Pro Bowl appearance. A 2014 NFL Draft pick from Penn State, he caught 80 passes for 1,400 yards and a franchise-record 14 touchdowns in 2015. Robinson’s receiving yards were the second-most in franchise history behind Jimmy Smith’s 1,636 in 1999. His 17.5-yards-per-reception average led all NFL receivers with 80 or more receptions by more than two yards. Robinson was first Jaguars player named to the Pro Bowl since middle linebacker Paul Posluszny following the 2013 season.

BRADLEY EXTENSION - The Jaguars signed head coach Gus Bradley to a one-year contract extension. Defensive line coach/run game coordinator Todd Wash has been promoted to defensive coordinator. Tony Sorrentino was promoted to assistant wide receivers’ coach, Aaron Whitecotton was promoted to assistant defensive line coach and Daniel Bullocks was hired as the assistant defensive backs coach. The team promoted Mark Ellenz to director of college scouting.

DRAFT NAMES TO WATCH – According to NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein the Jaguars top need with the No. 5 pick in the NFL Draft is cornerback then safety, center and outside linebacker. Top draft prospects include cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey (Florida State), Vernon Hargreaves (Florida) and Mackensie Alexander (Clemson). At safety Darian Thompson (Boise State), Jayron Kearse (Clemson) and Deon Bush (Miami). Centers Ryan Kelly (Alabama), Max Tuerk (USC), Evan Boehm (Missouri). And at outside linebacker Myles Jack (UCLA), Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame) and Leonard Floyd (Georgia). 

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