JACKSONVILLE – Tom Miller bought season tickets for the Jaguars’ 1995 inaugural season, and he never stopped.
Whatever the circumstance and whatever the record – win or lose, struggle or not – Miller kept buying season tickets. And he kept attending games.
“High or dry, two wins or 14 wins … ” Miller said this week.“It’s just the love of the team and the game.”
That’s 20 years of non-stop loyalty and support, and to the Jaguars, that matters.
Chad Johnson, the Jaguars’ Senior Vice President of Ticket Sales, said it actually matters quite a lot. Because it does, the Jaguars this coming season – the franchise’s 20th – will begin a program to honor not only 20-year season-ticket holders, but season-ticket holders of various tenures.
“Recognition is big – our 20-year accounts deserve recognition,” Johnson said. “They want it, but they deserve it. The Day One accounts deserve it, but all of our tenures deserve it. People who have been here for five with us deserve to be recognized for it, so we’re going to recognize five, 10, 15 and 20.”
Johnson said each level of tenure will receive wearable memorabilia indicating length of association. The exact item will be determined soon.
“They don’t just want recognition, they want to be able to show it off in the stadium,” Johnson said. “They want their hat to say, ’Twenty-year season-ticket holder.’ There will be things they can do and show people by what they can wear.”
Johnson said there also will be tangible recognition inside EverBank Field acknowledging season-ticket holders at each tenure level. The location of that display also is yet to be determined.
“Their names will be permanently displayed for people to see, and that’s always a neat thing to go and say, ‘There I am right there,’’’ Johnson said. “People have been asking for this, and they deserve it. That’s the history of this franchise. This is a historic year.”
And to be recognized in that year – and moving forward – is something the longest-tenured season-ticket holders said matters very much.
“It’s a sense of pride on our side that the team knows we’re here,” twenty-year season-ticket holder Jerry Agresti said, adding, “I was 50 when we started this and now I’m 70. I hope to be here for 50.
“It’s important to me. It’s important to fill the stadium. I’m big into economic development and so is the owner. That means a lot to me and it means a lot to Jacksonville. Whether we win or lose, I’m very, very proud that the city of Jacksonville has one of the 32 NFL teams.”