Goodell Reminds Jacksonville Politicians That The Present Football Stadium Is Obsolete

Jacksonville Jaguars' Jamal Agnew, left, celebrates his touchdown with teammate Christian Kirk during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Jaguars owner Shad Khan wants a new building.

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell recently had a getting to know you meeting with Jacksonville elected officials including the mayor, Donna Deegan, but Goodell knows who the Jacksonville political leaders are. Goodell met with the political leaders to remind them that Jaguars franchise owner Shad Khan wants a new or renovated stadium and that the political leaders have one job to do. Find money to make the billionaire owner, Khan, happy. Failure to do so, well that might not make the political leaders too happy. The failure to find public cash for a stadium could mean that the football business will be gone when the lease expires following the 2029 season. Goodell does the dirty work for owners and persuading politicians to spend public dollars for a privately owned business is part of his job description. In October, Shad Khan, was getting impatient with local leaders who were not coming up with public money for the business. Goodell probably reminded Jacksonville leaders of Khan’s impatience and pointed out that taxpayers in New York, Tennessee and Maryland are doing the right thing, by NFL owners, and are paying for new facilities or modernizing old venues.

Khan’s business does not play a full home schedule. In 2022, Khan received the go ahead from NFL owners which allowed his team to play an annual game at London’s Wembley Stadium through 2024. The Jaguars financial department claims that the business generates about 11% of its local revenue by playing in London. The Jacksonville stadium had about $180 million worth of renovations from 2012 through 2019. But the stadium was still bordering on being obsolete according to the Jaguars team president Mark Lamping even after all the improvements. Khan has six seasons left on his deal but time has come to get a stadium deal done.

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FILE – In this April 29, 2021, file photo, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)