JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A majority of Duval County voters said they would not support the city of Jacksonville splitting the cost of a new or improved stadium with the Jaguars, according to a University of North Florida poll.
When asked about spending $375 million of public funds on a new roof for the stadium, 67% said they were opposed, with 32% supporting.
And, when asked about spending up to $850 million of public funds on a new stadium, 80% were opposed, while just 19% expressed support.
Upgrades to TIAA Bank Field are not new. In the past, millions of dollars have been spent on renovations, including the additions of upgraded club seats, videoboards and pools. But with the lease with the Jaguars coming up for renewal in 2030, a new stadium or at least a partial roof to shade fans might be part of the picture.
News4JAX on Thursday asked people about their thoughts about the city spending money on a new or improved stadium.
“I have been out there during the summertime and preseason games, and yes it’s a little warm, but you’re covered. So yes I think that money would be better spent doing something else,” said one person, who is against spending taxpayer dollars on a new or upgraded stadium.
Kim Stanncury questions spending money on either.
“It’s a lot of money, but it would definitely help the heat out there. I’ve been there in the sunshine, and it’s very hot. So I don’t know about spending that kind of money to save yourself from the sun,” Stanncury said.
Marvin Cuffie is also against spending money on either.
“Use the money somewhere else,” Cuffie said.
One News4JAX Insider, who wished to remain anonymous, did give the spending a thumbs-up.
“I support it. We spent many years trying to get a team we should do what it takes to keep them. I like the roof idea but would support new,” the Insider wrote.
But the Jaguars commissioned a poll earlier this year of fans and season ticket holders, and while the question was not same, the result for a partial roof for shade had a different reaction.
A total of 4,711 of those surveyed (81%) rated shade coverage as the No. 1 item on a renovation wish list. Right behind that was improved air flow (69%) and coverage from the rain (63%).
Jaguars staff did not want to comment on the poll released this week, only saying the amount of money it would cost for a roof has not been determined. The city chose not to comment, as well.
The Jaguars and the city have previously said renovations will be a big part of the contract talks.
For now, hundreds of millions of dollars are already being spent around the stadium, with the construction of a new performance center and work set to begin on a new hotel and office complex. And the bet from observers would be hundreds more will eventually be spent on the stadium regardless of polling.
The poll done by the Public Opinion Research Lab (PORL) at UNF was completed Aug. 8 through Aug. 12 and consists of a random sample of 491 voters.
What do you think? Would you support or oppose the city splitting the cost with the Jaguars on a new stadium or stadium roof?