The 2018 Super Bowl between the Eagles and Patriots is a rematch of the 2005 Super Bowl that was played in Jacksonville.
But right now -- there are no plans to bring the big game back to Northeast Florida. Action News Jax Investigates why top local figures have little interest in hosting it any time soon.
On February 6, 2005, all eyes were on Jacksonville for Super Bowl XXXIX.
Now, 13 years later, the city hasn't come close to bringing it back.
“Would you like to the Super Bowl come back to Jacksonville?” Action News Jax asked Jaguars fan Samuel Clermont.
“Oh, definitely, for sure,” Clermont said.
Local businesses want the big game, too.
Action News Jax spoke with Noell Schofield of the Bistro Bar and Myth Nightclub on Bay Street.
“I think with the upswing of construction about to happen in this area, it would be a major, major, fantastic thing for this part of town in establishing itself as an entertainment district,” Schofield said.
But Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said the city isn't ready.
“I think what's most important as we think about big events here, is blocking and tackling and getting our infrastructure, and building these projects downtown, so as we pursue things in the long-term, when people come here, they say they want to come back,” Curry said.
The NFL said the Jaguars would have to kick things off by completing what's known as an “expression of interest.”
Action News Jax spoke with Jags owner Shad Khan -- who shared Mayor Curry's opinion.
“What it takes to get a Super Bowl … is setting up Jacksonville for failure,” Khan said. “Time, money energy, is much better served doing something else.”
Khan's focus is on his vision for the Jacksonville Shipyards, and the entertainment complex planned for Lot J of Everbank Field.
“The requirements now for hotel rooms and other infrastructure amenities, we don't have here,” Khan said. “Let's not kid ourselves.”
Last year's Super Bowl host, Houston, had more than 85,000 hotel rooms. This year's host, Minneapolis, has about 42,000.
The NFL requires 19,000. Jacksonville is about 750 short.
If one assumes there'd be an average of two people per room, that only fills about half of Everbank Field.
In 2005, the city had to bring in cruise ships to operate as hotels.
Some economists say hosting the game loses money. A University of South Florida study said factors like infrastructure improvements, security, and overtime for first responders cost the city $12 million.
Khan has said a realistic aspiration for Jacksonville would be hosting the NFL Draft.
But Jags fans know to never say never.
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