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Shad Khan tells council $63M EverBank improvement plan necessary

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Updated: 11/07/2013 6:27 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars president Mark Lamping said today's football fans are changing.

"Fans expect more," he said.

He said it's too easy for them to watch the game from home, so the team and the city need to sweeten the stadium experience.

Lamping said, "If we do not adapt to the changing needs of customers, we will wake up one day wondering what happened to that very successful franchise."

The team is suggesting $63 million worth of improvements to EverBank Field.  They want to install the world's largest video scoreboards and build a party deck at the north end zone.  

Team owner Shad Khan said he'll even put up $20 million of his own cash to help pay for the project.

"This is very important," he said. "We've been working on it.  We're putting our money where our mouth is.  We have got to get this thing done."

He's asking the city to pay for the rest.  New legislation proposes the city take out a $43 million loan and pay it back using bed tax money from hotel stays.

The proposal is getting mixed reviews by the City Council.

Councilman Stephen Joost said, "Well my concerns are, of course, spending $43 million of taxpayer money.  And I want to know how the citizens are gonna get a rate of return in their money."

City Council President Bill Gulliford said, "I think it works. I don't think we take any money away from the community in terms of libraries, police officers and the like.  And so let's move ahead."

Moving ahead is exactly what Khan and Lamping have in mind.  They need to sell tickets. And if the players can't do it, they hope creating the ultimate football experience will.

"Nothing would solve some of our problems quicker than a better football team on the field.  We know that," said Lamping.

Action News also got some clarification on the stadium "swimming pools" that everyone has been talking about. They were part of the party deck proposal. We learned that they're not really swimming pools, but more like fountains. Water features to make the stadium more attractive.
Thursday's City Council meeting was called specially to speed through the committee process, by getting everyone together at the same time.

Some council members still have questions, though.  So the full council will meet again Tuesday afternoon before the regularly scheduled meeting.  Ideally, members would like to vote on the legislation Tuesday night.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

rebeccainez - 11/12/2013 3:09 PM
0 Votes
I think we should improve Everbank field. Jacksonville isn't making much money outside of football season. Think about it, all the Georgia fans that come to Jacksonville for the FL/GA game they spend money in restaurants/bars, hotels, shops, at Everbank. People who come to support an opposing team of the Jags, same thing. In about a year the improvements made will pay off themselves. Sure the Jags are a terrible football team but this isn't about making the Jags better, Shad Khan is looking at the bigger picture. This improvement plan is about bringing in more people than what those other games bring and he's hoping that it'll get more locals to go the games which may not work in that respect..

c9bcrewman - 11/10/2013 12:53 PM
0 Votes
hey can you bought a team of misfit's, so spend your billion's on it. the field doesn't need to be prettied up for an ugly organization and team. lol. you spend your money freely so you fix it. don't worry you won't see me down there to watch you parade around in your $5,000 dollar suit's, saying look at me and spend your hard earned money on my bunch of has been player's. lol change the statue out front with a kitty cat. lol

fairtime - 11/8/2013 7:16 PM
0 Votes
Should the city borrow $43 million to help pay for improvements at EverBank Field?98.8% said no and I do agree because the football team should be getting more better players first or either move the team out of here.People are tired of them losing.

osprey1 - 11/8/2013 9:00 AM
0 Votes
Somebody should inform the Jags owner that the team needs to start producing before we give them a pay raise. I'm sure any person who works for Mr. Khan in one of his auto parts plants wasn't doing there job, would he give them a raise ?

Papakilo - 11/7/2013 6:02 PM
1 Vote
I believe Mark Brunell stated, then recanted, his remark concerning the Jaguars and the possible team move by Shad Khan from Jacksonville to London, may have hit a nerve of many who may have been laying the ground work for such a move. It is that very consideration, which many in Jacksonville have been discussing for weeks before Brunell made his statement. The excuses for poor performance of the team, and lack there of, add credence to that possibility. We have seen rookie teams play better and win but, the team seems to be going nowhere. Perhaps, Khan has a plan for the team to be so bad, drive down attendance and revenue to a point where he can say: he will have to move the team. I hope that is NOT the case. I DO NOT support any city tax matter where city council or the mayor says it comes from, going into the stadium, for any reason. We, as tax payers, have never received a regular tax reduction from the city, for ANY of the huge amounts of money (our tax money) that has been spent on so called "improvements". We still have flooding streets, over grown easements and drainage ditches, trees form city property fallen on vacant homes, sink holes unrepaired for months, trees in drainage easements which need cutting, and even JTA busses speeding every day down small 30 MPH streets, or even replace the damaged "Recycle Boxes". WHO CAN BE PROUD OF A CITY WHICH IS LEAD BY LEADERS WHO APPEAR NOT TO CARE. They don't even do their jobs or monitor their bus drivers. NO MONEY FOR EVERBANK IMPROVEMENTS!

CaptA60 - 11/7/2013 5:46 PM
1 Vote
Jacksonville trying to run with the big boys: Washington is on a spending spree and the country is in trouble what you want Jax to be in the same boat

CaptA60 - 11/7/2013 5:45 PM
2 Votes
If Shad want this done then let him do it: the Mayor takes money away from JSO and JFRD, these services are what need the money: I agree why would I spend thousands of dollars to go and watch a team lose when I can watch it on TV. If Shad want this done then he needs to get some real players that want to work for their pay not those who want everything handed to them: The city needs to take care of the people who serve and protect

therev - 11/7/2013 5:25 PM
1 Vote
Why do we need big screen TV for a sports arena? Why do we need a swimming pool? Duval County has a serious cash flow problem and it is upsetting to me that you will spend that kind of money for a stupid loosing football team. Use it to fix the bad streets and to pay for mowing and right of way upkeep. u

imtellin - 11/7/2013 2:07 PM
2 Votes
if shad is using the $63 million to get real players, then go for it, but lipstick & rouge isn't going to make the current jiguars any better, so save the cash & educate some kids..
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