JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars are essential to the River City.
Local leaders made that clear when they pledged $43 million for improvements to EverBank Field.
"The budget really was the statement about what kind of city we are creating. And it was interesting to see those decisions they were making," Ben Warner said.
Warner is the president and CEO of Jacksonville Community Council Inc.
Although his group does not receive city funding, it does have a vested interest in where resources are being spent.
To foot the stadium bill, the city will use a portion of the 2 percent hotel tax. While that's good for Jags fans, the Convention Center misses out at least for now.
"If we can use these different pots of money effectively and efficiently in ways to support a larger vision for Jacksonville," Warner continued.
The larger vision for EverBank includes a new scoreboard in each end zone, a pool in the north end zone, unique food and North Florida-themed imagery.
Mayor Alvin Brown said he won't apologize for backing the Big Cats.
"This is another way of keeping the commitment the city made when it secured an NFL team," he said.
Folks will have a chance to voice their opinion about the EverBank money on Oct. 22.
Public comment will be allowed at the City Council meeting.