East Coast Limousine has been providing affordable charter bus rentals to Jacksonville Jaguars games from facilities in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach since the NFL franchise started playing ball over 25 years ago.
The History of the Jacksonville Jaguars
Florida has always been a hotbed for football. The Sunshine State has a long tradition in college football thanks to the Miami Hurricanes, Florida State Seminoles, and Florida Gators. The state is also home to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, who joined the league in 1966, and 200 miles (ca. 322 kilometers) to the southwest, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a league member since 1976.
The fervor over football in Florida led to a third NFL team in the 1990s, as the league expanded into the northern portion of the state. Wayne Weaver helped Jacksonville gain its franchise, founding the Jaguars team in 1993. The Carolina Panthers were also founded at the same time, and both teams would take to the gridiron two years later.
When Jacksonville was announced as an NFL expansion city, some football fans couldn’t believe it. Jacksonville was considered a long shot before the final announcement was made. St Louis, Baltimore, and Memphis, along with Jacksonville, were the finalists for the 30th NFL franchise.
Two of the cities, St Louis and Baltimore, already had NFL teams, and would soon gain franchises via relocation. Memphis housed the USFL’s Showboats during the 1980s. The state of Tennessee would gain a relocated team a few years later when the Houston Oilers arrived in Nashville. The NFL was coming to Jacksonville, and gridiron fans could have been happier.
Success Comes Quickly to Jacksonville
In 1995, the Jacksonville Jaguars made their NFL debut, bringing professional football to the city. For decades, football fans and entrepreneurs had attempted to bring a professional team to the city, without much success. Professional teams came and went, but it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that an NFL franchise finally got its start.
The Jaguars debuted with some of the most refreshing home uniforms in the NFL. The team’s teal jerseys and white pants were accompanied by a black helmet featuring a ferocious jaguar on it. On the field, Jacksonville became the NFL’s most successful expansion franchise, playing in its own division. The Jags played their inaugural campaign in the AFC Central, finishing season No 1 with a 4-4 record. Jacksonville went on to lose 12 games. It was a respectable first season in the NFL, and local fans were captivated.
Season two in Jacksonville was electric and gave fans a lot to cheer about. The Jags went 9-7 and qualified for the AFC Playoffs. There, Jacksonville progressed to the AFC Championship Game with two wins before losing to the New England Patriots. In just two seasons, the Jaguars were becoming the best NFL team in Florida, and the rest of the state had to catch up quickly.
In 1999, Jacksonville returned to the AFC Championship Game, for the second time in five years of existence. Although the Jags lost to the Tennessee Titans, their playoff journey featured a 62-7 mauling of in-state rival, the Miami Dolphins.
Slow Times in North Florida
The first five seasons of life in the NFL gave way to some uneventful years after the turn of the century. Between 2000 and 2004, Jacksonville had five straight campaigns of under .500 records. The team missed the playoffs in each of those seasons. Head coach Jack Del Rio was able to turn things around in 2005 and 2007, leading the Jags to the playoffs, yet deep runs in the postseason didn’t happen.
Playoff appearances have been few and far between for the Jags since the Millennium. Jacksonville made the playoffs in four of its first five campaigns in the NFL. However, only four appearances in the playoffs have happened since then.
In 2022, Jacksonville, under the leadership of head coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Trevor Lawrence, made the AFC Playoffs for the first time in five seasons. Lawrence, a former college football standout at Clemson, led the team to a 9-8 record and first place in the AFC South.
Weaver Steps Down As Owner
Wayne Weaver saw the NFL’s expansion into Jacksonville and the team’s early successes. By 2011, the owner was ready to step away from the NFL. Weaver sold the franchise to businessman Shahid Khan for a reported $760 million. Weaver paid just $140m for the expansion Jaguars in 1993.
Khan took over full ownership of the franchise in 2012. Unfortunately for Jacksonville fans, the team has struggled for consistency under the owner.
Khan’s arrival as owner led to Jacksonville becoming a regular visitor to London. Since 2013, the Jacksonville Jaguars have played one home game each NFL season in the city. The team has helped raise the profile of the NFL in England and mainland Europe. Khan’s ownership of the England soccer team, Fulham, has enabled him to make use of ties with London.
The Jags began life playing in Jacksonville’s old football cathedral, the Gator Bowl. Opened in 1928, the Gator Bowl wasn’t up to the standards of the NFL in 1995. The original venue was partially demolished, allowing a nearly new-built stadium to be constructed on the same site.
The new venue opened in 1995, ready for Jacksonville’s first season. Now known as TIAA Stadium due to sponsorship rights, the venue can hold over 67,000 fans on game day. The stadium’s first game and Jacksonville’s first NFL game took place on the same day, as the Jags became the first NFL expansion team to play in a brand-new facility.
Transportation to Jacksonville Jaguar Game
East Coast Limousine offers charter bus rentals to Jacksonville that can transport your group to a Jacksonville Jaguars football game. For more information and a free quote, please contact us.
We are not a broker, reseller, or agent, so there are never any additional markups or hidden fees.
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