Jaguars fever sweeps Jacksonville

Many businesses see spike in sales, offering specials tailored to die-hard fans

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Excitement and fanfare can be seen all over Jacksonville ahead of the Jaguars' first appearance in the AFC Championship game in 18 seasons.

News4Jax spent "Victory Monday" driving around "Duuuvall," where there was a plethora of businesses and fans showing spirit, many sporting teal, black and gold.

It's clear Jaguars fever is real, with fans reeling over the 45-42 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. But the excitement is only building as the Jaguars prepare to steal the show in Sunday's AFC Championship against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. 

Businesses are also showing support. The San Marco Theatre's marquee reads, "You're next Brady. Go Jags." ServPro of Mandarin has a giant display, which included a cutout of Jaxson de Ville.

Downtown, The Candy Apple Café & Cocktails is pouring a special teal-colored concoction.

European Street Cafe is also getting in the spirit, selling the "Sacksonville Special" in honor of the team's defense.

"It starts with a pita, which in Jacksonville we know as a sack," co-owner Andy Zarka said. "Then, we lined it with all the sandwich plans we could come up with. So it's go Tom-ato Coughlin, Jalen 'Hamsey,' hot Poz-strami, Myles (pepper) Jack cheese."

The "Sacksonville Special" costs $12, with $2 going to charity.

PHOTOS: Jacksonville businesses display team spirit

The Range of the Jaguars exhibit at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is also getting extra attention.

"We had a lot of people come by that support the team, are excited to see the animal," jaguar zookeeper Amy Butler said. 

Fans of all ages are coming to see the big cats in person.

"I definitely think Jaguars are tougher than the Patriots," Butler said. "(Jaguars) can tear apart a Patriot."

News4Jax asked Jaguars fan Bill Hepler if he would rather face a real jaguar or the Jaguars defense.

"That's a tough call," Hepler replied. "Have you seen Calais Campbell? I don't know."

The Jacksonville Zoo is offering $5 off admission for those in Jaguars gear on game day.

The Jaguars-Steelers game had local restaurants and bars filled, and Sunday could be even busier.

A lot of people are still buying Jaguars merchandise, as well. Fanatics, the clothing provider of the Jaguars, said Monday that it saw a 1,200 percent increase in sales in the last 24 hours -- with Leonard Fournette, Jalen Ramsey and Blake Bortles jerseys being the top sellers. Fanatics said more Jaguars gear sold Sunday than the previous seven days combined.

As far as any other special deals for Jaguars fans, many businesses said just ask -- they might have specialty items tailored to die-hard fans. 

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