EverBank Field a tourist attraction?

 

Yes, Jacksonville Jaguars fans who were thrilled at the overtime victory against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday — and any member of the public — can now get an up-close view of the stadium and the inner workings of what keeps it humming.

Tours of the stadium will be offered on a regular basis beginning Friday, Nov. 17 as the organization is pitching the building as a major attraction in Jacksonville. A Jaguars news release Tuesday said tours — rain or shine — will be available on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Times vary from day to day, but Tuesday and Friday tours will generally take place in the afternoons and Saturday tours will likely take place during morning hours.

In the off season, tours will also be given on Sundays. Jaguars spokeswoman Amanda Holt said no tours will be available on game days.

Holt added that the team sees the stadium tours as a unique addition to Jacksonville’s growing tourism market, which has been setting record increases for about the past five years.

Tours of the stadium have been offered before, Holt said, but never in a structured program or on a regular schedule. Several other NFL franchises offer tours of their stadiums, such as the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field and Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium. She said the Jacksonville tour program is particularly patterned after similar stadium tours in Kansas City and Indianapolis.

Tickets for the stadium tours cost $15 with some discounts for children, military veterans and first responders. Fans can get more information on the program and tickets at the website jaguars.com/tours.

Swimming pools for fans and the world’s largest video boards are recent additions to the stadium that attracted the attention of the Travel Channel, which labeled EverBank Field as one of the “15 bucket list experiences for football fans.”

Given the growing interest in the stadium — and a growing chance to make the playoffs this year for the first-place Jaguars — team President Mark Lamping said tours of the complex seemed like a natural step.

“It was no surprise to us that EverBank field was recognized as a must-see for football fans as we pride ourselves in creating a world class experience on game day,” Lamping said in a prepared statement. “Our new tour program gives fans and visitors to Jacksonville another way to explore the stadium [and] learn its history. …”

The tours will take visitors behind the scenes from the field level all the way up to the owner’s suite where Shad Khan watches the games with other power brokers. The tours are expected to last an hour and a half.

The tours will be led by Jeff Fingland, manager of the Champions Club for the NFL franchise. The club is a network of fans that are involved with community events.

Some of the Jaguars sponsors and partners will be involved in the tours as well, and the team will be selling merchandise with some discounted prices.

Drew Dixon: (904) 359-4098