Jacksonville City Council approves $775M in public funds to upgrade Jaguars stadium

The Jacksonville City Council on Tuesday approved $775 million in public funds for stadium renovations at the Jaguars‘ EverBank Stadium in a deal that comes with a 30-year lease for the team.

Per local reports, the city will pay for more than half of the $1.4 billion project that’s scheduled to be completed in time for the 2028 NFL season. Per the Jacksonville Daily Record, the deal amounts to the largest single capital project in the Jacksonville’s history.

The team will be responsible for the remaining $625 million in estimated costs and will pay the city a base rent of $1 million per year. Per Forbes, Jaguars owner Shad Khan has an estimated net worth of $12 billion.

The City Council approved the deal via a 14-1 vote. Council member Mike Gay cast the lone “no” vote while declaring there’s “a great deal wrong” with the deal, the Florida Times-Union reports.

Everbank Field is slated for an extensive facelift paid in part by Jacksonville taxpayers. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

The deal is the second in two days in NFL cities dedicating public funds for stadium upgrades. The Charlotte City Council voted, 7-3 on Monday to approve $650 million in public funds for an $800 million upgrade at Bank of America Stadium. The Carolina Panthers will be responsible for the remaining $150 million.

Panthers owner David Tepper also pledged $421 million to cover any potential overages for the project. Forbes estimates Tepper’s net worth at $20.6 billion.

The Jaguars and Panthers each joined the NFL in 1995 and are playing in aging venues. Both teams and their host cities opted for extensive upgrades to their current stadiums rather than constructing new ones.

Renderings of the planned upgrades for the project dubbed “Stadium of the Future” include a transparent roof and an open-air design that allows for ventilation.

The redesign will include upgrades to the exterior, concourse and stadium bowl. Per the Daily Record, seating capacity will be reduced from 67,814 to 62,000 with the ability to expand to 71,500 for high-demand events. The field will be artificial turf.

Construction is scheduled to start in 2025 with the bulk of the work slated for 2027. Capacity is scheduled to be reduced to 43,500 during construction for the 2026 season. The plan calls for the Jaguars to move for the 2027 season before returning to Jacksonville with the project completed in 2028. The Daily Record reports that the Jagaurs will play in either Gainesville or Orlando in 2027.

Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan helped spearhead the deal and praised the Council’s decision in a statement:

“This day has been a long time coming. I am truly grateful for the partnership with the Jaguars throughout the negotiation process, and to the City Council for passing this historic deal. Together, we are turning renderings into reality for the betterment of Jacksonville.”

Khan released a corresponding statement invoking founding Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver and his wife Delores:

“The belief and determination of Delores and Wayne Weaver to make the Jacksonville Jaguars a reality more than 30 years ago was reaffirmed today by the leadership of Mayor Donna Deegan, her team and the Jacksonville City Council. The message then, and now, should be clear. Never doubt Jacksonville!”

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