No surprise that the Jaguars and the City resolved their differences in a fact-to-face meeting between Wayne Weaver and John Peyton. Once they got into the room together, Peyton knew he needed to figure out a way to get the deal done, and Weaver knew he had all of the legal cards on his side of the table but needed a public relations boost to help rebuild his image.
The last thing any NFL owner wants to be thought of is greedy in their own town. Sure, there’s a cost of doing business in any entertainment venture and every city that’s trying to improve the quality of life for their citizens knows that. But the owner of a franchise has to be thought of as benevolent. A businessman, but a benevolent corporate citizen, willing to do their part. Weaver and the Mayor both came out with what they wanted so the whole thing looks good.
I would like to know what Peyton told Weaver the city could do to help sell the 3,000 unsold club seats. The mayor’s office can use their corporate influence and maybe that’s the direction they’ll take. If they get together and behind this idea, it could be a very positive thing for the city and for the Jaguars.
Weaver does have a problem that came to light out of this whole situation. Despite his talk about moving the team (through an intermediary) and how the deal he was looking for was only worth less than a half million dollars a year, there was no corporate outcry, no coalition of corporate executives who told the mayor, publicly to get the deal done. Every time I mention that to anybody, they say, “Of course, Weaver has made everybody mad.” Or something of that nature.
The best thing Wayne could do is get all of the people he’s dealt with in the past, either made a deal with or rejected them and offer up a “new beginning.” Somewhere, the Jaguars went wrong when it comes to making partners in the corporate community in town. Either they were too tough, not loyal enough or overestimated the amount of money corporations in this town had to spend. Either way, nobody was rushing to the Jaguars’ side to defend them or let the city know how important the team is to the city’s future.
Selling out the club seats is important. Selling out the stadium for home games is important. Having the Jaguars and the City grow together is the most important thing of all.