photo: Fran Ruchalski

GAME REPORT: Jags vs. Texans – party on!

By now, the fact that there are pools and cabanas at EverBank Field is old news.

At least some percentage of the fans in attendance at each Jacksonville Jaguars home games this season has experienced the new addition to EverBank Field in some way, whether it was taking a dip in one of the 25-foot pools, or just hanging out under one of the tents, watching some football.

Some fans think it’s a great addition to the stadium. Others may find it gimmicky. Those who haven’t been there yet have either rejected the idea of ever trying it, or want to and have yet to have the opportunity.

Those who’ve been there would do it again and again. Some of those possibly see no better way to attend a Jags game.

“I thought it was great,” longtime Jaguars fan Michael Hunter said. “The service was exceptional. I would definitely do it again.”

Hunter got his first taste of the cabana experience last Sunday during the game against Houston. Among the things to impress the cabana rookie were the endless supply of food and beverages, something that comes along with the price of admission.

“The kept an endless supply of beer, sodas, PowerAde, water and food,” Hunter said. “Shenai Hylton, our server, was there to make sure we got everything we needed. She was great.”

Jimmy Wilson was another fan getting his first experience in the newly renovated north end of the stadium.

“If you want to party and watch football, this is it,” Wilson said of his cabana experience. “Everything else is child’s play. There were hot dogs, steak burgers with pimento cheese, peel and eat shrimp, wings, raw veggies, fruits, ships, sodas and, finally, 40 beers a quarter. You get to stay up to 2 hours after the game to hang, drink and they put all the games on the jumbotron. Bottom line, it was a blast.”

Both fans agreed that the service was a big plus in the experience.

The Houston game wasn’t exactly the perfect day to be hanging outside, with a pool a few feet away. A normal vision of hanging in the cabanas is something along the line of what you see on Carnival commercials, blue skies, warm weather, bathing suits and everything else that scream paradise. Sunday’s game was anything but the above — cold weather, windy, raining and miserable.

Yet fans still filled into the cabana area, though the pools got a lot less action than normal.

While most fans packed in the bud Light Party Zone to hide from the rain, the tented cabana area served just fine for those that were there.

“I spend most of my games at the Bud Zone,” Hunter said. “But I would chose the cabanas with friends over it all day. It was great being with 19 friends and being able to talk to them without the crowd.”

Being in a cabana can be pricy. For $12,500, a group of 20 fans can enjoy the larger cabanas on the fifth level, which also has pool access. The hefty price tag of about $250 a person may seem steep, but when adding in all that come with the price of admission, it could be worth the extra cash.

For $3,500, a group of 20 can get the smaller cabanas a level up. You lose the pool access, but the food and beverages are still there.

“It came out to about $175 a person with 20 people,” Hunter said. “It’s not too bad considering all is paid for. It’s changed my stance on expensive. For the level of service and the amount of beer, wine and food, it’s worth $175 to me all day.”

But the point of being in the stadium is to watch football, right? How can one possibly keep up with the games between all the food, drinks and swimming? And it can’t quite be the best seat in the house, right?

“Depending on where your seats are, you could have a better view,” Hunter said of the field view from the cabanas. “But it’s still good up there.

For Wilson, the view was more than good enough.

“I was in cabana 11. There was one other cabana that had a full view of the field,” Wilson said. “It kind of cuts out the south end zone. But you wouldn’t want to watch a game any other way. It’s incredible.”

With nothing but positive things to say, one would think everything is dreamy in the cabanas.

Hunter’s lone complaint was the overpriced bottles being offered. For Wilson, it was the wind, something no one has control over.

“My only negative comment is they need to figure out a way to do something about windy days like (Sunday),” Wilson said. “Everything was flying all over the place in the cabana.”

In the end, the cabanas provided the ultimate experience for both Hunter and Wilson, as well as the hundreds of others that have experienced them throughout the season.

With the perfect combination of service and the amount of food and booze one could intake, there’s no denying it’s geared towards the younger demographic.

“All in all, it was top notch,” Wilson said. “Well done Mr. Lamping (Jags President Mark) and Mr. Khan (Owner Shad) on taking something we were not using and turning it into an amazing experience. Our product on the field is young, much like our fan base. It’s a match made in heaven.”

Fans will have one more shot to experience the cabanas this season, when the Jags host the Tennessee Titans next Thurs. for the final home game of the season.

 

 

 

With the perfect combination of service and the amount of food and booze one could intake, there’s no denying it’s geared towards the younger demographic.

“All in all, it was top notch,” Wilson said. “Well done Mr. Lamping (Jags President Mark) and Mr. Khan (Owner Shad) on taking something we were not using and turning it into an amazing experience. Our product on the field is young, much like our fan base. It’s a match made in heaven.”

Fans will have one more shot to experience the cabanas this season, when the Jags host the Houston Texans next Thurs. for the final home game of the season.

 

 

 

 

About David Rosenblum

october, 2021

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