The year is 1993…. The National Football League announces they are expanding from 28 teams to 32. And all the nations top cities made full proposals for why they deserved a new team from…. Hotel accommodations. Weather. Economic viability. Size of market…. But here’s the thing -. Despite Jacksonville missing a lot of those factors (especially size of market). Jacksonville Florida was selected as the newest NFL franchise and the Jacksonville Jaguars were established in 1995. Jacksonville was absolutely stoked but as a city still had a LOT of development it needed to do in order to be able to support an NFL franchise. The stadium was built in Downtown Jacksonville in what used to be marsh land. While Jacksonville is the largest city land wise, it has a mere 1M people in population and it’s people are divided between the west side and beaches. NOBODY lives in downtown (except the homeless). In the first couple of years the jags were performing well, had buzz, and Wayne Weaver (owner) saw his franchise grow from ~$100M to ~$750M over 15 years. That unfortunately was not enough to supersede the foundational problem that Jacksonville does not have a strong football culture or a large market size. Downtown Jacksonville is a logistical nightmare, has terrible transportation options, & is 20 minutes from the west side, + 40 minutes from the beaches. So as it relates to small market cities with NFL franchises, Jacksonville was the newest and had a lot to figure out in order to attract fans, talent, and economic development. This got worse when Jacksonville was awarded the Super Bowl in 2005. The NFL was infatuated with the idea of hosting the Super Bowl in a nice climate city but Jacksonville was anything but prepared. It came to the point that they parked cruise ships on the coast in order to make for more hotel accommodations. And as I’ve said before, Downtown Jacksonville is a joke and does not have the energy and capacity needed to host a super bowl. All these things have contributed to the fact that Duval has never gotten love or attention from…. Fans. Media. And athletes alike. Jacksonville is just now hitting it’s stride as a city, yet due to the historically comical circumstance and performance - the fans feel somewhat hopeless. Shahid is incredibly bullish on Jacksonville now having built new scoreboards, a concert pavilion, invested millions in Downtown Jacksonville, and proposes developing new transportation options and Atlanta Battery esq mixed use space. We are still very early on in our history as a franchise - and I can’t imagine that the NFL will be expanding anytime soon. I’m proud to be a Jacksonville Jaguar and will Duval till I die. But to say they drew the short end of the stick would be an understatement. Go Jags.