Twenty-one stories above Downtown Jacksonville sits a row of floor-to-ceiling windows, each covered in opaque black paint except for the shapes of nine letters: G, O, J, A, G, U, A, R and S.
Every fall since 2004, these letters – backlit with spotlights on a vacant mechanical floor – have brightened the exterior of the Wells Fargo Center and the hearts of Jaguars fans, all thanks to an idea of several employees.
Some could say the Wells Fargo Center’s “Go Jaguars” message is the most visible example of team spirit Downtown, but it’s not alone. While several initiatives over the years have come and gone (remember the larger-than-life Ed Ball Building mural?), there’s never a lack of spirit or ideas for turning Downtown into “Tealtown.”
For several years, the JAX Chamber’s Downtown Council has spearheaded a community effort to paint Jaguar paw prints to lead the way to EverBank Field. Legend has it that mural-sized Jaxon de Ville of the Bostwick Building walked from his home at the corner of Bay and Ocean streets down Bay to EverBank Field, leaving his paw prints in Jaguar gold along the way. Each August, the annual event draws hundreds of locals Downtown dressed in their Jags merchandise for a morning of community service and celebration.
New this year is “Stand United Fridays,” organized by the City of Jacksonville and the Jaguars. The spirit campaign encourages locals to show their Jaguars pride every Friday before a regular-season game by sporting their favorite Jags gear. Stand United Fridays also incorporates social media outreach, nightlife promotions, photo competitions, scavenger hunts and much more. For more information, visit Jaguars.com.
What other efforts could help turn our Downtown teal? Downtown is ripe with opportunities for team-spirit placemaking efforts, from teal fountain waters (already underway at Friendship Fountain through Stand United Fridays) to teal uplighting on Laura Street. How about more murals, a teal-clad Andrew Jackson statue or even banners down sides of historic buildings?
Downtown is the home of the Jaguars and should be the focal point of team spirit. DVI is excited to support the efforts underway to turn the town teal and looks forward to future projects that celebrate what the Jaguars have done for Downtown and for the River City as a whole. It’s time to Stand United for the Jaguars – and for Downtown.