Jacksonville Jaguars Agree Funding Deal for Stadium Revamp

October 2, 2013

The Jacksonville Jaguars have announced they may soon have new scoreboards and other stadium improvements at EverBank Field after tentatively agreeing a funding deal with the City of Jacksonville.

Under the new funding plan, drugs which will be formally introduced to City Council later today, unhealthy the Jaguars will contribute an estimated $20 million toward the stadium improvements. The City will pay its estimated $43 million share through existing revenue sources already being directed to the stadium. As a result, the City’s financial contribution will not affect the general fund budget that pays for important services like public safety, parks, and libraries.

“EverBank Field is one of Jacksonville’s most important economic development assets,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “This agreement will make our National Football League stadium a world-class facility. It will enhance the fan experience for those who cheer on the Jaguars and come here for the Florida-Georgia game, Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl and other major events. It will attract new customers to the sports complex. It will help revitalize Downtown. This is an important step forward for Jacksonville.”

“Everyone who attends an event at EverBank Field is going to fall in love with these improvements,” said team president Mark Lamping.  “We owe our fans nothing less than the very best in-stadium experience. This up-to-date stadium technology will give fans the best in video quality, real-time content, out-of-town game action, fantasy football statistics, multiple-angle replays and create a personality for EverBank Field which is distinctly Jacksonville. These upgrades will also enhance the fan experience of the Florida-Georgia game, the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl, and will put EverBank Field in a position to attract additional major events to Northeast Florida.”

“The upgrades to EverBank Field will significantly strengthen the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl’s profile within the college bowl system and position Jacksonville very favorably in the discussion of future sites for college playoff football games,” said Rick Catlett, president and CEO of the Gator Bowl Association.  “This is a game-changer for Jacksonville and we should all commend the Jaguars, Mayor Brown and the City Council for having the confidence and dedication to seeing this through.”

In 2010, through Ordinance 2010-493, City Council adopted legislation allowing the Jaguars to utilize part of the hotel tax revenues as reimbursement for annual stadium enhancements. For each of the last two years, the City has reimbursed the Jaguars approximately $3.5 million. Through this agreement, the City will now use funds previously utilized for stadium reimbursement to pay for its share of the stadium improvement project.

“In these challenging fiscal times, I was determined to find a funding source that would not increase the burden on Jacksonville taxpayers or impact our general fund budget, which pays for critical priorities like public safety, parks, and libraries,” said Mayor Brown. “With this agreement, we have achieved both goals. The City has long collected this revenue from guests at Jacksonville hotels. It was already going to stadium upgrades. Now it will be invested in one of the most significant enhancements in the history of EverBank Field.”

If the proposed funding plan receives formal Council approval, construction of the new project will begin in January 2014 and finish by mid-July 2014.

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