TIAA Bank Field upgrades as well as a commitment to an entertainment district next to the stadium are necessary before the Jacksonville Jaguars and the NFL agree to a lease extension past 2030.
There are two issues at play here between the Jaguars and the city. One is a proposed $650-million Lot J development next to TIAA Bank Field, a multiuse/entertainment district proposed by Jaguars owner Shad Khan and The Cordish Companies, which has also worked on similar sports-venue-anchored venues in Kansas City and Arlington, Texas. That carries some city investment–some $233 million (potentially) between actual city spending and incentives. That development has been in the works for more than a year; last January Jaguars president Mark Lamping said the team and city were close to finalizing a deal, something that obviously did not happen.
The new part of the plan: TIAA Bank Field upgrades. From Jacksonville.com:
“If you’re going to be making a long-term extension of a lease, there needs to be certainty that you’re going to have an NFL-quality stadium during the term of that extension,” Lamping said. “That’s obvious, no different than when the Jaguars came to Jacksonville.
“The NFL wasn’t going to bring a team here [in 1995] and have them play in the old Gator Bowl. That hasn’t changed at all. That question needs to be answered. That’s why we have been raising this for the past couple years. So we’re getting ahead of it. Going to the league now and trying to get a lease extension without a stadium solution is going to end up not where we want it to end up.”…
As Lamping has previously outlined, Jacksonville is the only NFL city besides Buffalo that hasn’t either built a new stadium or done a major renovation (defined in the $400-500 million range) to its existing stadium. Khan and the city have previously invested in some renovations like the scoreboards in both end zones and club seat upgrades, but none of those are deemed “major” in the eyes of NFL owners.
A stadium upgrade and new development are being positioned as a way to extend downtown Jacksonville, adding another dimension to the political talks. But the call for stadium upgrades is not new: Lamping called for them in 2019.
Renderings courtesy Jacksonville Jaguars.
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