EverBank Field, home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, may be best known for its recent addition of cabanas on the south end of the stadium.
Now if Jaguars owner Shad Khan and Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry get their way, the stadium will have more additions and upgrades in time for next season.
On Wednesday, Curry submitted a plan to the Jacksonville City Council for a $90 million project that includes a new 5,000-seat amphitheater outside the south end of the stadium. The plan also calls for a new indoor facility (outside the stadium) for the Jaguars and remodeled club seating.
Khan would foot $45 million of the project, with the other $45 million coming from the city in the form of hotel bed tax money, which according to reports cannot be spent on basic city services such as police and fire protection. It’s a similar arrangement from the $63 million project between the Jaguars and the city two years ago, in which Khan put $20 million toward a deal to build a 42,000-square-foot fan zone with swimming pools and two jumbo scoreboards. The city of Jacksonville agreed to spend $43 million for that project in hotel bed tax money.
“I’m sincere in my commitment to Jacksonville and am extremely optimistic that we’re moving in the right direction, on and off the field,” Khan said in a statement. “We can never stand still, however. We can never underestimate the importance of exploring all means possible to strengthen the future of the Jaguars here in Jacksonville.”
The Jaguars already are giving up a home game every season to play one game in London’s Wembley Stadium through 2020. EverBank Field also is home to college football’s annual Georgia-Florida game and the TaxSlayer Bowl (formerly the Gator Bowl). City officials hope EverBank Field will be considered as part of the rotation for the College Football Playoff.
The city council could vote on the plan as early as Dec. 8. If approved, construction would begin in January. The upgrades are expected to be completed by next July.