cabanas

Cabanas at NFL football games? That’s just dumb

For the latest installment of what has become a random but increasingly regular feature on dumb things related to the world of professional football, I bring you this…

Jacksonville Jaguars fans will be able to watch a game this season while sitting in a pool inside the stadium.

The team has taken out 9,500 seats in the north end zone and is replacing them with a two-level party deck that includes two pools and 16 cabanas complete with plush furniture.

Companies or fans can rent one of the four poolside cabanas on the first level for $12,500 a game, or $250 per person. The package includes 50 tickets and is all-you-can-eat and drink. Wine and beer will be served through the third quarter, as is the case with the rest of the stadium.

A similar package of 20 tickets on the upper level of the party deck, which does not include pool access, costs $3,000 a game, or $150 per person.

“We’re targeting businesses who want to entertain some of their clients or even their own employees,” said the team’s senior vice president of sales, Chad Johnson, per ESPN.com. “What we’ve built here you can’t get anywhere else.”

But shouldn’t NFL football be a bigger selling point? I mean, you can get pools and cabanas pretty much anywhere, Chad. You can only get pro football in 30 other places worldwide. Sure, the combination is unique, but it strikes me as a bit cheesy — and dramatically beneath a $10 billion business like the NFL — to try to sell packages like these.

I know baseball has promotions like these in some parks, but that’s a 162-game-per-year deal. And baseball is slow. Watching an MLB game is somewhat of a social experience. That has never really been the case with football, and there are plenty of other cities without NFL teams that would happily fill a home stadium eight times per season without the allure of a swimming pool.

I mean, seriously. Who goes for a dip during the second quarter of a football game? That’s not how live football is supposed to work. Each and every fan in the stadium should be paying attention to every snap. Otherwise, the experience is lacking.

By doing this as well as airing a constant stream of NFL Red Zone during games, the Jags are admitting that they just don’t have enough to offer on the field to keep their fans satisfied. And if that’s the case, they shouldn’t have a team at all.

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.

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