A Renovated Stadium Is Not Enough In Jacksonville

A Stadium upgrade and entertainment zone are necessary in Jacksonville.

It appears that the National Football League’s Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan would like to build an entertainment district in one of the Jacksonville football stadium’s parking lots with the city of Jacksonville giving him financial assistance. It also appears that Khan wants massive improvements at his Jacksonville stadium home and taxpayers should chip in to help pay for the owner’s dream improvements. Khan’s lease with the city ends after the 2030 season. Khan’s team does not even play a full regular season schedule in the Florida city. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic Khan’s Jaguars played annual games in London, England as a home team giving up one Jacksonville home game a year. Khan will not renew the stadium deal with Jacksonville despite wanting to move ahead with the entertainment zone. Khan and The Cordish Companies estimate the entertainment zone would cost around $450 million. The Khan-Cordish partnership wants a $233 million package of assistance from Jacksonville that would include a $50 million city investment and granting a $77 million interest free loan to Khan to help with construction. The entertainment area would include housing, office spaces, bars and entertainment facilities.

The stadium renovation is needed according to Jaguars President Mark Lamping. The National Football League owners would not sign off on a Jaguars lease extension with conditions at the stadium today. Apparently, the building which opened in 1995 does not have all the bells and whistles that NFL owners want in a stadium. The Jaguars facility has had some upgrades such as new scoreboards and better club seating but NFL owners want major renovations at the facility that could cost as much as a half billion dollars. The NFL also wants a vibrant downtown according to Lamping. It appears just fixing a stadium is not enough anymore for NFL owners.

Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson (30) is brought down by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Vince Williams, top, and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (39) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Stamey)