With the team arriving back from Houston on Tuesday morning, the Jaguars administration had to get immediately to work on what was going on in Jacksonville. Water had come into the south end zone of the stadium but once the St. Johns started to subside, it was pumped out immediately. After assessing the situation, the decision was made that it was safe for fans, workers and players and the game against the Tennessee Titans would go on as scheduled at 1 pm.
Jaguars’ owner Shad Khan will make a $1 million donation to Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund.
“Jacksonville gets labeled as ‘small market,” Khan said. “But it has a heart bigger than any community I’ve been associated with in my life. Jacksonville will recover and come back stronger than ever, but who couldn’t use a little help from our friends? ”
As part of the relief effort, Khan and the Jaguars are encouraging fans to work with the Florida First Coast Relief Fund and use the hash tag #JaxAsOne on social media posts.
“I’m hoping that our sponsors, partners and fans will think of Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund this week and give what they can,” Khan added. “Then, we gather Sunday at EverBank Field to show the world we’re back in a big way, as a team and as a community. This is Jax As One.”
In another effort to help the community and admittedly to help deliver a home-field advantage on Sunday, Khan and the Jaguars will donate 5,000 tickets to the community.
“In the midst of our worst of times, our first responders demonstrate their best. I am grateful to the Jaguars for recognizing the tremendous sacrifice and commitment of the teams from the Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, City of Jacksonville and independent agencies,” said Mayor Lenny Curry.
“These men and women have worked around the clock before, during, and after the storm to save lives in our city. Jacksonville is a resilient city full of resilient people. I am incredibly proud of us all.”
The Jaguars will automatically distribute a portion of the allotment to organizations representing first responders, volunteers and organizations like the Jacksonville Fire & Rescue, Jacksonville Sherriff’s Office, JEA, Beaches Electric, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, United Way, Florida National Guard and similar organizations. The remaining allotment will be distributed to residents who have been impacted and perhaps experiencing hardships in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
“We wanted to do something that was symbolic but also substantial,” said Jaguars President Mark Lamping. “The million dollars will go a long way, staying in the 5 county area to those in need. But we also wanted to do something symbolic (tickets) and use Sunday as the rebirth of this great city.”
First Coast residents can apply for the donated tickets via the Jaguars’ Hurricane Irma Relief Ticket Offer and recipients will be randomly selected. The process for registration and distribution for the tickets to Sunday’s game will be available at www.jaguars.com/jaxasone. Tickets to Sunday’s game also remain on sale to the public for those wishing to guarantee seats.