JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - More than 67,000 people are expected to fill TIAA Bank Field Sunday afternoon to watch the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the New England Patriots.
When Jacksonville's home opener kicks off at 4:25 p.m., it will be about 94 degrees, but it will feel closer to 103 degrees with the tropical air, News4Jax Chief Meteorologist John Gaughan said.
He said the stadium air temperature at kickoff will be one of the top 10 hottest regular-season games in the history of Jaguars home games.
Fans from all over the county are ready to take on the heat, but is Patriots quarterback Tom Brady?
According to ESPN, Brady has only started one game in his career when it was at least 90 degrees. His Patriots lost 27-17 at the Carolina Panthers in Week 2 of the 2005 NFL season.
Game-time temperature in Jacksonville is expected to be around 90 degrees on Sunday.
Tom Brady has only started one game in his career when it was at least 90 degrees.
His Patriots lost 27-17 at the Panthers in Week 2 of 2005. pic.twitter.com/entu9pxf9D — ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 14, 2018
In January, when the Jaguars and Patriots last played each other in the AFC Championship game in Foxborough, Massachusetts, the temperature was 48 degrees. Brady led the Patriots to a 24-20 comeback win.
Jaguars fans now hope Sunday's game in Jacksonville will be redemption for the close loss.
"I’m a big fan. I grew up in Orange Park. I was at the AFC Championship game," Tyler Hauf, who flew from California for the game, told News4Jax on Friday. "Looking for a little revenge -- it’s going to be exciting."
Even the Jaguars players hope they'll get revenge Sunday.
"It's the biggest stage Duval has seen in a while, especially in the regular season. I'm expecting a playoff-type atmosphere," safety Tashaun Gipson said. "Everybody wants revenge, and I want to give it to everybody.”
Hauf's friend Nick Wanliss, who's a new Jags fan, said he's looking forward to seeing the team's defense go up against a top quarterback like Brady.
"Hopefully, the offense can stay up to the tone that the defense is," Wanliss said.
Their friend Kaaran Singh, who's visiting from Chicago, was already preparing for the heat.
"I already bought a gallon of water, so I’ll be chugging that before the game starts," Singh said. "(I) got sunscreen. (We'll try to) find some shade while we tailgate."
Jacksonville fans will have to wait until Sunday to find out whether Brady can handle the heat, but Jaguars officials will be helping fans deal with the heat and stay cool.
Firstly, before going to the game, Jaguars officials remind you to drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
Once you get downtown, Sarah Mathis, with the Jaguars, said that Daily’s Amphitheatre on the south end will be open for a shady spot. That’s just one way they'll be helping people cool down.
"JFRD (Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department), they are going to be fully staffed, making sure if there is anyone who needs treatment, they can get them taken care of," Mathis said. "We really want to be proactive, so we’ve partnered with JTA (Jacksonville Transportation Authority). They’re going to have air-conditioned buses at the bottoms of ramps one and four."
Mathis pointed out that aside from water for sale at concessions, there are water fountains throughout the stadium.
In 2016, when the Jaguars hosted the Green Bay Packers, temperatures rose to 113 degrees. Thirty-five fans were hospitalized with heat-related issues and many fans reported concessions running out of water.
Jaguars officials said they will have plenty of water and other concessions for the large crowd they’re anticipating Sunday.
They expect the atmosphere to be similar to the home playoff game against the Buffalo Bills last season, which was packed.
One of the fans who will be in the stadium is Jeff Congo, who's from New England but is an 18-year Jacksonville resident. He’s also a Jaguars season ticket holder, which is why he's feeling a little bit torn before the big game.
"A little bit conflicted. My son and I have the opportunity to go down to the field and hold the flag, help hold the flag for our National Anthem. The stickler there is we have to be dressed in Jaguar-branded colors, so we'll be down there with our jerseys on, but we'll definitely have the Patriots attire stuck underneath that," Congo said. "Listen, we'll be smiling when the Jaguars score, but we'll be cheering when the Patriots score."
Congo said the game is a bigger deal to Patriots fans and players than they may act, but he said that whoever wins, wins.
What to know before the game
In addition to drinking plenty of water before the game, Jaguars officials also want you to pay attention to the size of your bag.
Jaguars officials said they were lenient last year, but no more.
A clear bag can be no bigger than 12 inches by 6 inches, and a non-clear bag can be no bigger than 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches.
According to the Jaguars, the rule will be in full effect this year, so if your bag is even just a half-inch bigger, you won't be allowed into the stadium.
WATCH: How to prepare for Patriots-Jaguars game at TIAA Bank Field |
RELATED LINK: 2018 Jaguars fan guide
Remember this year, only mobile tickets are accepted. Make sure to have your barcode ready on your phone before you get to the gate.
As of Friday, tickets were still available, but not any under $100.
According to the Jaguars, verified tickets are sold on NFL Access or Ticketmaster.
With the large crowd expected at TIAA Bank Field Sunday, Jaguars officials advise you to be parked by 1:30 p.m. and be in the stadium at least an hour before kickoff, so no later than 3:25 p.m.
Gaughan also said clouds are expected on Sunday, and there's also the possibility of thunderstorms, especially in the second half of the game.
Fans should pack a poncho in their cars and then check The Weather Authority app before going into the game to see whether storms are approaching the stadium.
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