Not long after Jaguars' owner Shahid Khan said he was "shocked and perplexed" by the city's claim that the NFL team has defaulted on its stadium contract, the city withdrew its claim and its top lawyer apologized.
Late Wednesday Brown wrote a definitive response: "Let me be crystal clear: the City of Jacksonville has absolutely no intention whatsoever of terminating its lease with the Jacksonville Jaguars."
Earlier in the day, Khan wrote to Mayor Alvin Brown about Jacksonville general counsel's charge that the team defaulted on its contract by recommending that the city continue to use Spectacor Management Group to manage the stadium and other city entertainment facilities without going through the appropriate process with city officials.
Khan wrote that the Jaguars' recommendation for SMG to continue managing was within the procedures outlined in the lease agreement. Khan further claimed that the city is actually the one in default because it's a request for proposals for a facilities management company violated the lease with the Jaguars.
Khan wrote Brown saying the public disagreement over who will manage the stadium came at the worst time for the team as they are pushing for ticket sales for the new season.
"The Jaguars organization has followed exactly the process agreed to by the team and the City and as set forth in the RFP documents," Khan wrote. "Immediately upon our advising the city of our recommended selection, your lawyer delivered to the Jaguars organization a default letter putting in motion a termination of our lease."
"The action of sending the default letter is unprecedented,” Khan wrote. "The default mechanism of the lease has not been implemented in the 18 years the lease has been in effect. While we certainly take the default claim seriously, the only response we can make to your letter is to cure the claimed default. However, it is not possible to cure as we are in full compliance with the lease."
Since 1992, SMG has managed most of the facilities in Jacksonville, including Veterans Memorial Arena, the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, the Prime Osborn Convention Center, the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, the Ritz Theatre and EverBank Field.
After four renewals, its contract is up, so the city and the Jaguars were accepting proposals for a new facility manager.
The city's top lawyer responded Wednesday evening.
"When we received your letter dated May 24, 2012, that the Jacksonville Jaguars have selected SMG as the EverBank Field facility manager I was surprised," General Counsel Cindy Laquidara wrote in a letter Jaguars president Mark Lamping. "until this afternoon, I was unaware of the change to the RFP agreed to by Ms. Chastain in contravention to my April 30, 2012, letter to Mr. Brown."
"Please consider this my withdrawal of that default," Laquidara wrote. "Given the long-standing positive relationship between the Jaguars and the City and new information, which appears to indicate that the two parties simply have a misunderstanding on this matter, I hereby withdraw any notice of default. It would be more productive for representatives from the Jaguars and the City to meet and see if we can resolve any concerns that either party has."