Taxpayers to cover $1.3M tab to add more seats at EverBank Field

by: Catherine Varnum Updated:

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —

Taxpayers will have to pay extra money to put more seats in the stadium for the Florida-Georgia game.

It's one of the biggest events in the city.

But now there is a big problem.

"We
 have a contract. We're required to have 82 thousand seats. That's what we will have," said Rick Catlett. He is the Gator Bowl Association president and CEO.

He says the city now has to pay to add seats taken out when renovations at Everbank field were done. 


As we told you this week, 7 thousand seats were removed when pools and cabanas were put in, meaning 12 thousand seats now need to be added to meet the required contract.

The cost to taxpayers is an extra $1.3 million.

"I 
don't like learning about it after the fact," said Councilman John Crescimbeni.

He says council should've been told by city leaders about this increase in money when they voted on the EverBank Field renovations last year.

He said they may have been able to offset the costs back then.

"It's
 either a breakdown in staff not doing their job or maybe they knew and didn't want to tell us," said Crescimbeni. 

Electrical costs will climb $700,000, $500,000 of it is from the stadium upgrades.


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