JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars finally will have the 2012 home opener Sunday versus the Houston Texans, and there are signs that excitement is building.
Enough tickets have been sold to avoid a blackout and the game will be on television, according to team spokesman Dan Edwards.
Local sports apparel store Sports Mania reports sales of Jaguars jerseys are increasing.
"It's going pretty good, better than last year," said Justin McCoy, sales associate at the Landing store. "Glad to see that, good for business. I think it is better because we have a new ownership, new coaches, and new players, popular players I should say.
The Justin Blackmon jersey is the top seller, said McCoy. People come in and ask for it, and there has been a waiting list. The jersey finally arrived in stores a week ago. Maurice Jones-Drew is the second-best seller, with Blaine Gabbert right behind.
The home opener is the first regular season game that fans can bring in their own food, in clear gallon zipper bags with the food exposed and unwrapped inside. Kids less than 34 inches tall can sit in an adult's lap without a paid ticket and kids under 12 can get half price tickets in some sections.
The game will have the debut of the Sea Best Cool Zones in the south and north end zones. The south end zone opens at 10 a.m., three hours before the game. Sea Best reps will be cooking and serving bite-size seafood favorites from 10 a.m. until noon.
At noon, Sanya Richards-Ross will be in the Cool Zone with her Olympic gold medals signing autographs. The wife of Jaguars cornerback Aaron Ross will be honored at the game.
The fans can line up in the Cool Zone and watch the Prowl and see the team walk through the Cool Zone on the way to pre-game introductions. The Jaguars are calling a first for the NFL.
The Cool Zone will also feature air-conditioned cooling benches and misting fans to keep cool along with cool concessions.
A second Cool Zone will be in the north end zone area during the game with air-conditioned benches, refreshments and Sea Best seafood concessions.
The Cool Zone will be open an hour after the game with discounted concessions and an array of high-definition televisions showing the afternoon out-of-town NFL games. It is being called the "Fifth Quarter."
First Coast News