The Jacksonville Sharks and Jacksonville Express were professional American football teams based in Jacksonville, Florida which competed in the World Football League in 1974 and 1975, respectively. The Sharks folded during the 1974 season due to financial difficulties, and the Express folded when the league ceased operations during the 1975 season.
Despite their mediocre play on the field, the Sharks reported that they were second in the league in attendance. The front office claimed to have sold 18,000 season tickets, and listed attendance numbers of 59,112 for the home opener against the New York Stars and 46,000 for their second home game against the Southern California Sun. However, the club later admitted to giving away 44,000 tickets for the first two games and distributing many thousand free or sharply discounted tickets for subsequent home games. As with several WFL teams, declining real ticket sales coupled with uncontrolled spending led to serious cash flow problems.
Monaco tried to sell the team to New York financier William Pease. However, after it emerged that Pease was under indictment regarding a Connecticut land deal, the WFL took over the franchise on September 22. The players, who had not been paid for over a month, threatened not to fly to Anaheim to play the Southern California Sun. League Commissioner Gary Davidson paid them $65,000 in escrow and the players made the trip. A week later, after vetoing several prospective owners, the league folded the team, and the Sharks' last six games were cancelled.
The WFL returned to Jacksonville the following season with the Jacksonville Express. While head coach Charlie Tate and a few players returned from the Sharks, the Express had new owners (local businessman Earl Knabb along with several minor partners) and a mostly new front office staff. The team's biggest player acquisitions were quarterback George Mira, who had been co-MVP of the 1974 WFL championship game with Birmingham and had been a college All-American with the in-state Miami Hurricanes, and Tommy Reamon, who had led the WFL in rushing in 1974 with the Florida Blazers.
The new ownership group sought to be much more frugal than the free-spending Sharks had been. One notable example of this was that while the Sharks' headquarters had been located in a large suite atop a skyscraper in downtown Jacksonville, the offices of the Express were located in a mall in the basement of a hotel. Accordingly, the franchise was able to meet its financial obligations throughout its short existence. However, the WFL had lost their television contract right before the 1975 season, putting the entire league in serious financial difficulty. The Express had compiled a 6-5 record when the WFL folded in October 1975, 11 games into a planned 20-game schedule.