JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars and the city of Jacksonville have agreed on $63 million in facility improvements at EverBank Field.
City leaders including city council members, Mayor Alvin Brown and Jaguars owner Shad Khan made the announcement inside the team locker room Wednesday afternoon.
Shad Khan is leading the Jaguars into a new era of fanfare. The popular owner announced plans for an eye-catching feature at the football field: state-of-the-art video scoreboards. Both screens are a whopping 300 feet wide and 55 feet tall.
“The biggest and best scoreboards in the world will be at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida,” said Jaguars president Mark Lamping.
A who's who of Jacksonville leaders stood inside the team's newly-renovated locker room announcing a deal to further enhance the EverBank experience.
Highlights of the agreement include:
• New video scoreboards in each end zone, each measuring 55 by 301 feet, making them the largest of their kind in the world.
• Major enhancements to EverBank Field’s video capabilities.
• New LED fascia board displays:
o Two sideline boards, each measuring 3.6 by 579 feet
o Two displays in the Bud Light Party Deck and above the Terrace Suites in the South End Zone, each measuring 3.6 by 106 feet
o Two displays over tunnels, each measuring 6 by 22 feet
o One display in the North End Zone measuring 10 by 400 feet
• A new scoreboard control room equipped with state-of-the-art software.
• A new platform area in the north end zone with pools, unique food and beverage offerings, interactive activities and much more than will entertain and serve guests in a fashion that celebrates the vibe and spirit of life in Jacksonville . Construction of the platform will result in the removal of approximately 7,000 seats, though temporary seating can be installed for major events that will require a larger stadium capacity.
"When you see these plans come to life next fall, it will be impossible to stay home and watch the Jaguars,” said owner Shad Khan.
“This is about vision,” Mayor Brown said. “We’re seeing a great example of Shad Khan’s leadership and the Jaguars’ dedication to creating the best, second-to-none fan experience right here in Jacksonville.
“Enhancing our stadium is a positive step toward the strategic goal of Downtown revitalization, as well, and it’s an opportunity to play to our strengths as a destination for sports and entertainment. Beyond the Jaguars games, we can expect the stadium enhancements to engage the thousands of fans who come to Jacksonville for the Florida-Georgia game, the Gator Bowl and other major events at EverBank Field.”
Khan is spending $20 million and the rest falls on the city of Jacksonville.
The bill will be paid with money from the city’s bed tax. A portion of every dollar spent in the city's hotels goes to improve city facilities.
John Crescimbeni is known as a fiscal hawk on City Council. He tells Action News that this money has specific uses.
“I can't spend it on mowing grass. I can't spend them on salaries, I can't spend them on the monthly utility bills,” said Crescimbeni. “I can only spend it on capital improvement projects."
The proposed funding and operations considerations include:
• The city of Jacksonville will fund the total estimated $36.4 million from capital project funding to build the north end zone fan engagement area as well as the necessary infrastructure and control room to support the video scoreboards at both ends of the stadium.
• The Jaguars will fund 75 percent of the estimated $26.5 million for the new video scoreboards, with the City of Jacksonville funding the remaining 25 percent from capital project funding.
• The Jaguars will serve as construction manager with responsibilities for any cost overruns.
• Any project savings will be earmarked for additional improvements at EverBank Field which are included in a master study produced by HOK.
The improvements announced today complement the nearly $10 million in stadium upgrades that have been funded by Khan, including locker room upgrades, a new weight room, new training room and a renovation of the Jaguars’ administrative offices.
“What does it cost the city if we don't continue to make the investment in this facility,” asked Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett. “If we don't continue to improve this facility and make sure we're competitive with all the other NFL teams in the country."
The new features are scheduled to be complete by the start of the 2014 season.