In 1989 an ownership group formed with the hopes of getting the NFL to expand. The ownership group consisted of Jeb Bush, Tom Petway, and Wayne Weaver. It wasn’t until 1991 that the NFL decided to put forth efforts to expand. There were five areas that were finalists for expansion. Charlotte, North Carolina; St. Louis, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; Baltimore, Maryland; and Jacksonville, Florida. Only Jacksonville and Charlotte were chosen from this group for the 1993 season. Coincidentally, the other three finalists were awarded franchises later; excluding Memphis but the team that came to Tennessee was placed in Nashville. The expectation at the time was that Jacksonville was the least likely to get a team because they weren’t in a top 50 television market and due to population were considered a medium-sized market. Due to underwhelming bids from the other locations, Jacksonville’s chances were heightened and on November 30, 1993 the Jaguars were established. The team’s first season was in 1995.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are one of the more innovative teams in the NFL. Once the Jaguars became a team in 1995, their tenure started with some controversy. Their original logo was very resemblant of the logo for automaker Jaguar. Fortunately, no lawsuit was filed and both sides agreed to have the car as the team’s official car and the team would redesign their uniforms. Since their inception they have had multiple different renditions of their jerseys, different color combos with their helmets and jerseys, and different looking wordmark logos. The logo change was a jaguar head with a teal tongue; the teal tongue came from “feeding Panther to Jaguars”, a jab at their fellow expansion team. The team has also had 13 separate alternate logos and 7 different wordmark logos. They have had 16 renditions of their jersey and currently wear 5 of those combinations. Along with the jersey changes, there have been 4 helmet swaps. The coolest thing about changing their helmets was that they were the first team to have helmets that changed colors with different angles of light.
Of the many changes that the team has made, one thing has stayed consistent is where they play their home games. TIAA Bank Field was built on the grounds of the old Gator Bowl and has been home to the Jacksonville Jaguars for 22 years and counting. The first home game was played on August 18, 1995. This marked the first time in sports history that an expansion team played its first home game in its inaugural season in a new stadium or arena. Ten years after opening up, the stadium hosted Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005. In preparation of this event the stadium underwent a $63 million renovation. The renovations included a new sports bar, a terrace suite, a bigger video display, and 20 escalators and 4 elevators. In 2014, TIAA Bank Field became the home of the world’s largest in-stadium video board.