Before I get into today’s article, I want to take a minute and make clear I am madly in love with the Jaguars. My family has had season tickets since I was a kid and you won’t find a more passionate fan. I also want to take time to say I love the direction the organization is headed and I do believe they genuinely care about the fan experience. That being said, their latest food service idea might be the dumbest concept I’ve seen in a really long time.
There are two primary reasons to buy club seats rather than seats at half the price just outside the club: A place to escape the weather and better food options. If you’re in the mood, it’s nice to be able to sit and eat a real meal at a football game rather than just a burger or a hot dog. In previous seasons one of the food options in the club was The Chef’s Table. We loved it! For $25 you’d get 4 trips to chef’s table stations where you’d typically get an entree and a side item, a salad, or a dessert. You could go to all 4 or you could go more than once to the same one. This was very tasty restaurant quality food anyone could appreciate. Last Season the Jags decided to remove that option. I along with many other club seat season ticket holders complained and the Jags brought the option back quickly. That was something I know people appreciated. This year we walked into the club and headed for the chef’s table to grab a plate or two to take to our seats. What we found was a large roped off area of tables. We were directed to a gentleman standing at one end of the roped off area. He explained to us that the Chef’s table is now $35, it’s all you can eat, and he’ll be there to wait on us and take care of anything we need. We weren’t thrilled to spend $10 more but we figured, “whatever, we’ll give it a shot”. Since the game was kicking off I asked the waiter if I could grab a plate now to take to my seat and then come back later for more. It’s all you can eat after all. He responds by letting me know that if I leave the roped off area I won’t be able to come back. Let me get this straight…. I can’t take the food to my seat and watch the game? I’ve got to pay $10 more than last year to go to this little roped off area to eat and I cannot leave this area if I want to continue eating? So basically I have to show up really early for the game or watch the game on tv in the club in order to eat. How could that possibly make any sense? I’m there to watch the game from my seat in the stadium. If I want to watch it on tv I can do so from my living room or any restaurant I please for far less. What genius comes up with an idea like this? Check out the photo of the roped off area. One guy is in all that roped off seating with 7 people there working. So we’ve wasted all this fan seating, taken away the food option many of us loved, and replaced it with one no one wants. Do the Jags ever ask fans if these food ideas sound appealing? We really doubt it given what a dud their latest idea has turned out to be. Any logical person should have seen this coming. Offering a premium food option that precludes you from heading into the stadium seems to us to be the definition of counterproductive. Hopefully they’ll listen to the feedback we’re sure they’ll get in the coming week and make an immediate change like they did last year.
On a separate note, we want to commend the Jags for working with local restaurants to improve food choices in the stadium. They’ve added Burrito Gallery, Bono’s, Dos Gatos, and Uptown Market to stadium food and drink options. Supporting local restaurants is a huge plus in our book. Kudos to the Jags for embodying the Duval spirit.