The Jacksonville Jaguars, based in Jacksonville, Florida, are an NFL football team who play in the AFC South division.
The Jaguars are owned by Pakistani-born businessman Shahid Khan, also the owner of English Premier League football club Fulham FC.
The team’s colours are black, teal and gold and they are supported at each home game at the TIAA Bank Field by The Jacksonville Roar, a pro cheerleading group.
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History of the Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville made several attempts over the years to bring first-division pro football to the city, from as far back as 1925, but having an NFL team wasn’t achieved until 1995.
When the 1970s rolled around, franchises were present in Jacksonville but not under the auspices of the NFL. The Jacksonville Express and Jacksonville Sharks played in the World Football League, while the Firebirds were part of the AFL. The Jacksonville Bulls took part in the United States Football League in the same period.
But the city was determined and in 1991 the NFL announced that two more teams would be added in 1994, (ultimately this was delayed by a year) with Jacksonville chosen as one of five finalists for the new franchise.
In 1993 Charlotte, North Carolina was given the first franchise, the Carolina Panthers, with St. Louis being heavily favoured for the other promised franchise.
There were three strong bids from Baltimore also in contention, but despite this, and to some surprise around the country, the NFL owners voted heavily in favour of Jacksonville. The Jaguars were born.
TIAA Bank Field
Since their inauguration, The Jaguars’ home field has been what is now known as TIAA Bank Field. The stadium sits right in the middle of Jacksonville on the St Johns River, 160 miles east of Tallahassee and 140 miles north of Orlando in Florida.
Construction began in early 1994, with the stadium opening for business in August 1995 in time for the new season. The stadium initially cost $121 million, and more money was spent on renovations in 2004, 2014 and 2016 to bring it up to speed.
Part of the cost of the build and the upkeep of the field has been recouped via sponsorship deals and naming rights. While officially the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, the venue has been known via such commercial deals as the Alltel Stadium (1997-2006) and the EverBank Field (2010-18).
After EverBank was bought out by TIAA, the Jaguars announced in 2018 that the stadium would be renamed TIAA Bank Field.
The venue has a capacity of 67,814, though this can be expanded to over 82,000 when used for other types of event. The stadium hosts college football and music concerts and is also the home of the annual Florida-Georgia game, a notorious game between huge rivals the University of Florida and the University of Georgia.
America’s national football (soccer) team has played some of its home games here, while the venue also hosted the Superbowl in 2005 when the New England Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles.
Notable Jacksonville Jaguars
Not happy with simply having a ‘ring of honour’, the Jaguars wanted to have a name for theirs and, after a fan vote in 2006, the ring was named the “Pride of the Jaguars” with former player Tony Boselli the first person to be inducted.
Boselli’s number 71 has not been officially retired by the Jaguars but much like fellow inductee Fred Taylor’s number 28 it has not been used since his retirement.
Two other players, Mark Brunell and Jimmy Smith have been inducted into the Pride of the Jaguars, as well as owners Wayne and Delores Weaver.
Some of the Jaguars’ first-round draft picks to have been selected for the Pro Bowl include Kevin Hardy, Marcus Stroud, John Henderson, Marcedes Lewis, Reggie Nelson, Jalen Ramsey and Josh Allen.
Jacksonville Jaguars’ Achievements
The Jaguars have had rather limited success in their 25-year career it has to be said. They don’t yet have a league or divisional championship to their name. These are their best achievements to date:
- AFC Central Winners x 2 – 1998, 1999
- AFC South Winners x 1 – 2017
- NFL Playoff Appearances x 7 – 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2007, 2017
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