JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Before City Council even considers funding a multi-million makeover of both the outside and inside of EverBank Field that would include an amphitheater and new indoor practice fields, people are asking how this would impact Metro Park and the planned development of the Shipyards property.
The proposal released Thursday calls for $90 million upgrade to the stadium, with the city paying $45 million and Jaguars owner Shad Khan paying $45 million.
The amphitheater that would seat 10,000 people for concerts and special events was projected to cost $45 million. The plan also includes a $20 million indoor practice field and $25 million to upgrade the stadium's club seats.
Councilman Bill Gulliford is among those asking what this project would do to the existing riverfront amphitheater, Metropolitan Park, and to plans to develop the neighboring Northbank property on which a development group Khan formed proposes a multi-million development that includes residential, retail and public space.
City leaders said Friday the stadium upgrades would only enhance the Shipyards project, but there was less certainty about the future of Metro Park, where it's canopy is beyond its lifespan.
The city commissioned a study a year about to study the future of the pavilion and the park. While the final report was not available, the city said the stage must be repaired before another concert can be held. The park itself remains open.
The stadium upgrade plan will be introduced to City Council next Tuesday. If the Council approves it, work should begin in January and completed by the next football season.