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Jacksonville Jaguars raising ticket prices

The Jacksonville Jaguars know they have to get better on the field, and that’s a key goal for 2016. But if you’re heading to those games, it’ll be a little pricier.

During the annual “State of the Franchise”, Jaguars President Mark Lamping said the team is raising ticket prices across the board. On average, it’s a 3.6% hike. Lamping says the exact changes will be distributed first to season ticket holders next week.

The reason for the increase is local revenue. The team has held prices flat for several seasons, but when you couple that with a high number of Club Level seats for a market of Jacksonville’s size, the team has been struggling with local revenue. Lamping says they’re starting to show progress, but that just means they have to build on that moving in to the next season.

“Is there the right balance between price and value? As we invest in the value side of the equation, we think the pricing can take care of itself,” Lamping says.

One of those investments is currently underway- the Jags are removing several thousand Club Level seats and improving the areas with new technology, food and beverage options, and more. The improvements are expected to be completed in August.

GALLERY: New renderings of amphitheater, flex field, Club Level project

The Club Levels were particularly off, according to Lamping. He says their rate of general admission ticket price increase has been relatively consistent with inflation. With the Club Levels, however, pricing is actually down from inflation since 2001. Overall, Lamping says the Jags have the fifth cheapest tickets in the NFL.

Lamping says they want to reward loyalty, however, so they’re giving a break to season ticket holders. If you renew by the end of February, there will be no change in pricing for General Admission season tickets. For the Club Levels, there will be a hike in pricing, but it will be smaller than the pricing for non-season ticket holders if you renew by the end of February.

The Jaguars will also be looking at variable pricing with single game tickets- so be ready if you want to catch the Packers, Steelers, or other in-demand games.

“If we don’t variable price it, if we don’t charge more for those games, it doesn’t change the amount of revenue we generate, it just means we have to get it from other ticket holders. And we would just as soon not have to go to our season ticket holders,” Lamping says.

He says the momentum is building- about two-thirds of Jacksonville residents identify as NFL fans- but despite how strong Jacksonville is in terms of support, it is still small. Because of that, the team needs to come up with different ways to take advantage of the “unique and wonderful” market.

“We don’t want to just exist here, we want to flourish here,” says Jaguars Owner Shad Khan.

Bringing local revenue in line with what other teams are seeing would mean an even greater ability to invest in Jacksonville, according to Lamping. He says they want to continue especially investing in Downtown Jacksonville, because they believe a turn-around there would only benefit the team in the future.

GALLERY: Shad Khan's proposal to redevelop the Shipyards

The Club Level renovations come as part of a larger $90 million package of changes the team is splitting with the City. An amphitheater and flex field will also be built right next to EverBank Field. The team shared new renderings of the project Friday, and that included some design changes. The renderings now envision the amphitheater and flex field sharing a roof that extends all the way to the Stadium. We also got a more detailed look inside the amphitheater, which will have about 5,500 fixed seats on three separate levels, with the top two being extended decks from the stadium.

Khan used the “State of the Franchise” to not just promise fans the team will continue to improve, but to- again- assure Jacksonville the team is not going anywhere.

“Great opportunity for us today to give our fans and partners absolutely a crystal clear look in to where we are as a franchise and where we plan on being in the future. And by the way I think it bears repeating, we plan to be in Jacksonville,” Khan said.

The Jags acknowledge that London is, and will continue to be, an important part of the franchise- for one game each year. In fact, Lamping says the Jaguars fan club in London has now grown to more than 50,000 members.

Khan says they’re committed to building the team, and thank fans for sticking around “through trying times”.

“All of us really have one goal for 2016, and that’s to win in 2016,” Khan says.

While the team is adjusting ticket prices, Lamping says they’ve taken a lot of care to make sure it’s within what the market can handle.

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