The Miami Dolphins are not the only Florida NFL team in a conundrum over tarps, a too-large stadium, and the looming threat of blackouts. The Jacksonville Jaguars are caught in a similar situation. Currently, tarps are blanketed over 10,000 seats in EverBank field, but the team manager and new owner are looking toward other alternatives.
On a purely pragmatic level, tarps make excellent seat covering once they’re secured. Resistant to tears and other weather conditions, medium- and heavy-duty poly tarps are treated to be UV resistant (a major plus for Florida teams), waterproof, mildew resistant, and rot proof. And, as we have been before, tarps are extremely helpful when rain comes, keeping grass dry and ready for the next game.
The Jaguars expect to make an announcement in August about new plans for EverBank Field, but in the meantime, the tarps are a scourge, essentially creating a catch-22 situation for the team and those managing the stadium. Without the tarps, EverBank Field has too many open seats, which could possibly create a blackout should the game be televised. On the other hand, the stadium’s 77,000 seats are filled to capacity for the Florida-Georgia game and for a potential Gator Bowl, so the 10,000 extra seats must be easily accessible for such instances. About the tarps, team president Mark Lamping stated to the St. Augustine Record: “Putting tarps over seats does nothing for the fan experience and is a blatant reminder that there are seats under them.”
Presently, a couple of solutions may replace the tarps over time. Like the St. Louis Cardinals’ old Busch Stadium, a manually-operated scoreboard could replace the additional seats, or a multipurpose platform, for concessions, possibly, that can be put up and taken down may assume the extra room instead.