Gameday tips for taking kids to a Jacksonville Jaguars game – things that will save you time and money because Football Matters!
Football season is officially here! I know this because my 8-year-old son has his mini-team helmets lined up for the upcoming week’s matches.
Football — both college and professional — is big in our house. My dad played for the Florida Gators back in the ’60s so naturally, half our house cheers for the boys in orange and blue, while my husband attended Florida State University and bleeds garnet and gold. On Saturdays, you can find College Gameday on the TV until our teams take the field. Sundays, if we aren’t going to a Jacksonville Jaguars game, we are rooting them on at home on a big inflatable screen we bought just for games.
Did you know the Jaguars are entering their 25th season in the NFL? In honor of that milestone, here are 25 things you should know if you’re taking the family to a game.
- Get the family pumped up with a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium — not on game day, though. Who knows? Maybe you’ll run into Nick Foles coming out of the locker room.
- Parking is located all around the stadium. However, I like to beat traffic and arrive by water taxi. Park your car and hop on at River City Brewing Company ($10 round-trip, cash only) and get dropped off at nearby Metro Park for a short walk to the stadium.
- If you have a bite to eat at nearby Intuition Ale Works and the kids don’t want to walk any further, hail a pedicab for dropoff right at your gate.
- Before kickoff, let the kids run a few downs in the Lycamobile Fan Entertainment Zone presented by PRI, located on the southwest plaza level. Gates 1 and 4 open three hours early for food, fun and football activities.
- There is a family-only section (227) that prohibits alcohol and use of profanity if you’re looking for a little calmer experience.
- Youth tickets can be purchased on a full-season basis for the family section for children 12 and under with a full-price adult season ticket.
- Great news, now you don’t have to buy a ticket for your littlest ones. Ask for a free lap pass (for children under 34” tall) at the Game Day Ticket Office located between gates 2 and 3.
- Stadiums can get pretty rowdy. Sensory bags are available to check out at all guest services booths. A sensory room is also located in the south end of the stadium on the plaza level at the mother’s nursing station.
- Nursing moms can cool off in the Baptist Health Mom Pod — a mobile, air-conditioned breastfeeding and baby-changing station. Located in the south end zone beneath the Bud Light Party Zone, next to the Jags Pro Shop and Daily’s on the ground plaza level.
- Take advantage of free Wi-Fi at the game — select the “xfinitywifi” network.
- Download the Jaguars mobile app to get breaking news, access to an interactive map, built-in camera filters and more!
- Be sure you use #JagsGameDayLive when posting to social media and you may see yourselves on the world’s largest video boards.
- If you take too many selfies and your phone battery is running low, head to the Lycamobile Market in the south end zone and recharge.
- If this is their first game or a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary, swing by Guest Services to grab a “brag” button and wear it proud.
- Cheering for four quarters can work up an appetite. Stock up on snacks and place them inside a one-gallon clear plastic bag no larger than 11″x11″.
- Clear stadium bags are strongly encouraged, but if you forget and bring a clutch, bag or purse larger than 4.5” x 6.5”, you can now pay a nominal fee to rent a fan locker located outside Gate 1 on the corner of Lot J and Bay Street.
- No outside drinks allowed, but you can grab a free water cup at all guest services booths and fill up at the many water fountains.
- See who can spot Jaxson DeVille first. Look for the 403-pound, 8.5’ paws in height down on the field pulling his usual shenanigans or ziplining in from the tops of the stadium lights.
- Hopefully, you won’t need it, but just in case, First Aid booths are located in the stadium concourse in sections 123, 410 and 436.
- If you lose something during the game, call 904-633-6114 to see if it was turned in.
- Be prepared to hear two chants at the game – get the kids to practice at home. Say it with me, “Duuuuuuuuvvvvaaaaaaalllllllll” and “Move those chains” when the Jags reach a first down and move the chains 10 yards.
- The kids may have noticed the Daily’s Coin Toss and Kick-off Kids – they can enter to be on the field at a future game, too by visiting https://dailys.com/.
- Children ages 6-17 years can cheer and dance with THE ROAR of the Jaguars – visit jaguars.com for more information.
- Nominate an active or retired military member to be honored during the — visit jaguars.com/military.
- Finally, don’t forget to pack game-day essentials like sunscreen, a hat (that sun can be brutal for daytime games) and your best Jaguars accessories — think face tattoos and teal and black beads.
Here’s to a great season. Go Jags!
The National Football Foundation (NFF) launched Football Matters, an unprecedented media campaign to celebrate the positive impact the game has made on millions of players, coaches, administrators, volunteers, and fans nationwide. Debuting in February 2018 at footballmatters.com and on social media, the campaign underscores the NFF’s mission to use the power of amateur football to advance scholarship, citizenship, and athletic achievement. It will benefit from the coordinated support of the entire football community. Football Matters spotlights and explains the many benefits that football brings to communities, schools, families, and individuals and the opportunities it provides to those on and off the field and at every level. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.