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City and Jaguars agree on $63 million makeover for EverBank Field

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Updated: 6/19/2013 7:01 pm
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.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

twhitty - 6/21/2013 8:12 AM
0 Votes
Our water smells like a sewer, our schools are ranked some of the lowest in the state, our libraries are closing, our roads have pot holes and the City of Jacksonville thinks spending tax payers money on a swimming pool and palm trees at the stadium is going to make things better. For who? This is an atrocity. This should not be allowed. How dare they do this !!!!!!

EZZZE - 6/20/2013 6:32 AM
1 Vote
Just wish we had a winning team, that would be the way to fill the seats. I think alot of people are missing the point when they say the money that is being spent is for capital improvemnts and that's all it can be spent on. I know,there are plenty of improvements around this city that the money would have been better spent on but that's our leaders not doing the best thing for Jacksonville.

TOMMY - 6/20/2013 6:01 AM
1 Vote
Way to go Jacksonville, lets close libraries, cut police force, cut paramedics and firemen, close schools , eliminate teaching positions , who are the people running Jacksonville, a bunch of loose nuts who do not know what the hell they are doing! Is the old scoreboard malfunctioning, hell no, put the money where it belongs and that is taking care of things we need, not what we want and can't afford!

tanstaafl - 6/20/2013 4:22 AM
1 Vote

nativejax - 6/19/2013 10:31 PM
0 Votes
Well as sad as this is, the ONLY thing that will get me down there is Kahn investing on a 'WINNING TEAM', not the field. And as far as placing the blame, Thank OBama and all his blind followers and liberal crooks and croney's for the closing library's, firestation's, etc...and also, as sad as this is, IT'S ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE. ...I hate to say I told ya'll so, but I did, years ago.

HighLife - 6/19/2013 5:21 PM
0 Votes
OK, I'll bite. If Shad khan is putting up $20M of the $63M, who's putting up the other $43M? The City of Jacksonville? The City that's millions in the hole on its pension fund contributions? The one that's going to have to close fire stations? The one that's going to close libraries? What is this? Wonderland? I'd rather have a close by fire station than a closed fire station and an improved Everbank Field. But then, what do I know?

Ledoux - 6/19/2013 5:21 PM
0 Votes
Good job Jacksonville . Lets just spend more money on useless things. How about increasing water quality or making your electrcity bill more affordable. This makes me think of the last days of Rome. While an invading army surrounded Rome, the Romans watched gladiatorial games up until the last day when Rome burned. Also it's kinda funny how this news station reports on this huge score board being the largest in the world and then reports on resources are low at the beaches. These people are living in a fairy tale. Wake up and deal with the truth about our economy. If Shad Khan wants to help Jacksonville , he can bring a large manufacturing plant here. Those would be better actions.....

IDRIVETHEBUS - 6/19/2013 5:18 PM
0 Votes
you know its real sad that we hear they are going to close libraries, and fire stations around the city, but have enough money to spend on something really does nothing for the city except want more money.

c9bcrewman - 6/19/2013 4:53 PM
0 Votes
I still will not me come there.
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