The NFL and Jaguars confirmed this week that the team’s home opener against the Tennessee Titans will be played Sunday, Sept. 17, at 1 p.m. at EverBank Field, as scheduled.
The Jaguars followed that announcement with word that the team and owner Shad Khan will make a $1 million donation to Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund, with Khan personally appealing to the Jacksonville community ahead of Sunday’s game to join the recovery effort assisting those affected locally by Hurricane Irma.
“Jacksonville gets labeled as ‘small market,’ but it has a heart bigger than any community I’ve been associated with in my life,” Khan said. “Jacksonville will recover and come back stronger than ever, but who couldn’t use a little help from our friends?
“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. 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.”
To help deliver a home-field advantage on Sunday and provide both relief and reward to those affected, 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,” Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said. “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. 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.
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. Tickets to Sunday’s game also remain on sale to the public for those wishing to guarantee seats.
The Jaguars are also encouraging Jaguars fans, residents, news media and anyone who holds Jacksonville close to their hearts to use the hashtag “#JaxAsOne” throughout the week to both inspire contributions to Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund and champion the spirit of Jacksonville in advance of Sunday’s game and well beyond.