Jacksonville Jaguars arrive in Providence
The Jacksonville Jaguars arrived at a downtown Providence hotel at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, one day before they will take on the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.
Ahead of the Jaguars, a small, but loyal contingent of fans made the trip to Providence from Florida and were outside the team hotel to welcome the players.
“It’s very exciting because us true fans have stuck through thick and thin, the mockery and everything. So, this is like the Super Bowl in and of itself,” said Sabra Selling of Jacksonville.
The fans took in everything downtown Providence has to offer.
“It’s a beautiful city," said Doug Green. "Beautiful architecture. We walked around Brown. Just really, really nice.”
“The architecture’s gorgeous. The historical structures are gorgeous," added Michelle Roberts. "We had a lot of fun walking around today.”
Fresh on everyone’s mind in New England is the health of quarterback Tom Brady. How injured is his thumb? Do Jacksonville fans think they have an advantage?
“For us, it sounds like good news," said Daniel Fewl of Jacksonville. "I mean, you obviously don’t want anybody to be hurt. But he’s an excellent quarterback. But I don’t think we’ll believe it. You always have to go out and be careful.”
“Belichick. One hundred percent Belichick. I’m not even paying attention," said Chriss Brown who added she thinks the Patriots are faking the whole thing.
While visiting NFL teams stay in Providence during the regular season, the postseason is never a guarantee.
For the capital city, the money coming in from close to 500 hotel rooms, restaurants, and bars is all a bonus. The economy in the city is going to see an influx of about $650,000 this weekend, up from $500,000 last weekend with the Tennessee Titans in town for the divisional playoffs.
As the city readies itself for another economic windfall, the Jaguars fans are readying themselves for the game.
“I love the fact that they’ve been playing hard," said Roberts. "They’ve gelled almost like a family, and they’re proving the doubters wrong.”
The AFC Championship game is scheduled to be played at 3:05 p.m. Sunday in Foxborough.