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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Winn-Dixie Stores have agreed to purchase enough Jacksonville Jaguars tickets to ensure no home game is blacked out on TV this season, The Associated Press reports.
Before the decision by the Jacksonville-based grocery chain, Jaguar officials feared that seven of the 10 home games would be blacked out. NFL rules require a local TV blackout when a game is not a sellout.
At a news conference at City Hall, complete with cheerleaders and recorded music, Mayor John Delaney and Al Rowland, Winn-Dixie president and CEO, announced the decision to purchase thousands of tickets needed to make each game a sellout.
"Eliminating blackouts will ensure the fans can continue to gather around the TV with friends and family and cheer for our home team," Rowland said.
Neither Winn-Dixie nor the Jaguars would say how much the company might spend make the games a sellout, although they are expected to get tickets at a discount. The tickets will be distributed to customers, employees and community groups.
NFL rules require the Jaguars to sell about 55,000 tickets at Alltel Stadium before the game can be broadcast locally.