JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Jaguars today announced the team has agreed to terms with the City of Jacksonville to undertake approximately $63 million in major enhancements to EverBank Field, including two new end zone video scoreboards that will be the largest of their kind in the world.
The plan also calls for a major renovation of the north end zone to introduce a world-class entertainment and viewing area for fans that will position EverBank Field as a destination on NFL game days and help attract and keep premier events in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars first unveiled the goal of new scoreboards and EverBank Field renovations during a state of the franchise address on Feb. 5. The team has since worked closely with Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown and the Jacksonville City Council to explore and agree on funding sources and models.
"Our determination to see this concept brought to reality was matched by Mayor Brown, and his impressive work on this project is why we're able to move so quickly," said Shahid Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars. "This is what can happen when two parties are committed to a common goal.
"We support Mayor Brown's initiatives to bring new energy to Downtown Jacksonville and the city's urban core, and the enhancements to EverBank Field that we are announcing today will help position Jacksonville as a home and destination for major events, now and in the future. This is indeed great news for Jacksonville."
"This is about vision," Mayor Brown said. "We're seeing a great example of Shad Khan's leadership and the Jaguars' dedication to creating the best, second-to-none fan experience right here in Jacksonville.
"Enhancing our stadium is a positive step toward the strategic goal of Downtown revitalization, as well, and it's an opportunity to play to our strengths as a destination for sports and entertainment. Beyond the Jaguars games, we can expect the stadium enhancements to engage the thousands of fans who come to Jacksonville for the Florida-Georgia game, the Gator Bowl and other major events at EverBank Field."
Highlights of the agreement include:
· New video scoreboards in each end zone, each measuring 55 by 301 feet, making them the largest of their kind in the world.
· Major enhancements to EverBank Field's video capabilities.
· New LED fascia board displays:
o Two sideline boards, each measuring 3.6 by 579 feet
o Two displays in the Bud Light Party Deck and above the Terrace Suites in the South End Zone, each measuring 3.6 by 106 feet
o Two displays over tunnels, each measuring 6 by 22 feet
o One display in the North End Zone measuring 10 by 400 feet
· A new scoreboard control room equipped with state-of-the-art software.
· A new platform area in the north end zone with pools, unique food and beverage offerings, interactive activities and much more than will entertain and serve guests in a fashion that celebrates the vibe and spirit of life in Jacksonville . Construction of the platform will result in the removal of approximately 7,000 seats, though temporary seating can be installed for major events that will require a larger stadium capacity.
"Jaguars fans are going to fall in love with the new EverBank Field," said team president Mark Lamping. "We do not take for granted the emotional and financial investment of Jaguars fans. In return, we're doing everything we can to produce a winner on the field, but in the areas we control – like the in-stadium experience at EverBank Field – we owe our fans nothing less than the very best, and that's what they can expect soon at EverBank Field."
Lamping spoke to the need for new scoreboards in February, citing the obligation to provide today's fan with real-time content, out-of-town game action, fantasy football statistics, multiple-angle replays and much more. Lamping also noted the importance of up-to-date stadium technology in supporting the Florida-Georgia college football game, enhancing the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl and attracting soccer matches and similar major events to Jacksonville and the surrounding region, which benefits mightily from the economic impact generated by those and similar events.
"The upgrades to EverBank Field will significantly strengthen the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl's profile within the college bowl system and position Jacksonville very favorably in the discussion of future sites for college playoff football games," said Rick Catlett, president and CEO of the Gator Bowl Association. "This is a game-changer for Jacksonville and we should all commend the Jaguars, Mayor Brown and the City Council for having the confidence and dedication to seeing this through."
The proposed funding and operations considerations include:
· The City of Jacksonville will fund the total estimated $36.4 million from capital project funding to build the north end zone fan engagement area as well as the necessary infrastructure and control room to support the video scoreboards at both ends of the stadium.
· The Jaguars will fund 75 percent of the estimated $26.5 million for the new video scoreboards, with the City of Jacksonville funding the remaining 25 percent from capital project funding.
· The Jaguars will serve as construction manager with responsibilities for any cost overruns.
· Any project savings will be earmarked for additional improvements at EverBank Field which are included in a master study produced by HOK.
"The spirit of partnership was certainly evident as we worked with the Jaguars over the past several months to arrive at today's announcement," said City Council President Bill Bishop. "EverBank Field and Jacksonville will now be able to compete for the very best events in sports and entertainment while ensuring a great home for the Jaguars and experience for their fans. It's a win-win for everyone."
The improvements announced today complement the nearly $10 million in stadium upgrades that have been funded by Khan, including locker room upgrades, a new weight room, new training room and a renovation of the Jaguars' administrative offices.
Khan continues to invest in the Jacksonville region as well, highlighted by major financial commitments to the Veteran's Guidance Center, the OneSpark Festival, Andrew Jackson High School and various initiatives through the Jaguars Foundation.
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