JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Shortly after the Jaguars' heartbreaking 24-20 loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game, JaxEvents announced that EverBank Field would not be open to the public Sunday night.
But some fans ignored the closure, gathering outside the stadium in downtown Jacksonville to greet the players when they returned from New England.
"Tonight @EverBankField will NOT be open to the public," JaxEvents tweeted. "Thank you, @Jaguars and all their fans, for an incredible season!"
About 11 p.m., dozens of fans gathered outside the gates, chanting, "DUUUVALL." About an hour later when the team arrived, they were welcomed back home by a crowd of supporters wearing teal and black.
Fans held signs and waved as the players exited the buses.
Last weekend, EverBank Field opened for fans to greet the Jaguars when they returned home after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers.
There's no word yet on whether the Jaguars plan to host an event in the coming days, but the Jaguars did tweet a thank you message to fans after the loss.
Mayor Lenny Curry also tweeted after the game, saying, "Losing sucks. Always. I’m blocking my hurt & thinking about the guys that played the game. They rallied our city. They left it all on the field today. I can’t even imagine how much this hurts them. Much love to our team @Jaguars. Your city is proud of you. #DTWD"
Jacksonville International Airport asked fans to not come out to meet the players, who landed back in Jacksonville late Sunday evening before taking buses to EverBank Field.