JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As the Jaguars players gear up for a new season, a new opponent on their schedule might be one that doesn't wear helmets. The team may soon be battling the City of Jacksonville because the city selected a new company to run their home stadium.
The Professional Services Evaluation Committee Wednesday recommended Global Spectrum take over for the Jags’ favorite, SMG.
A protest letter SMG filed with the city early last month claimed deficiencies in Global Spectrum’s bid. But that only delayed a decision over who would take over stadium management. At a hearing Wednesday afternoon, Jacksonville’s selection committee rejected SMG’s protest and chose to hand EverBank Field’s management rights over to Global Spectrum.
SMG spokeswoman Misty Jackson Skipper tells Action News, “We are certainly disappointed, given the fact our attorney made compelling arguments today.”
Each company submitted very different proposals. SMG slashed its fee to the city from $1.2 million to $125,000. Global Spectrum offered a base management fee of $300,000 and promises to make a $1.5 million investment to improve the facilities.
Mayor Alvin Brown still has to sign off on the deal and Skipper says, “We hope when the mayor looks at the business aspects of the two proposals, he’ll consider the value of SMG’s proposal.”
The Jags are already on record wanting to remain with SMG, the company that’s run their home stadium for almost two decades. So the team might soon be butting heads with the city they call home.
“We respect the City’s right in the process of selecting a stadium manager," said Jags' Senior Vice President Dan Edwards, "Unless the city and the Jaguars agree, the process has failed with regard to EverBank Field. We will await the Mayor’s final decision.”
The mayor says he has not yet made a final decision.