Jaguars pick design firm for stadium upgrades that will include shade roof, reduced seating

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Major renovations at TIAA Bank Field are moving toward becoming a reality.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have selected global design firm HOK as their consultant for the project, HOK confirmed to News4JAX.

On Thursday, the Jaguars published similar information in a post on the 1stDownTownJacksonville site. Among the information released on Thursday, the team said, “HOK’s initial concepts of the new home for the Jaguars and other world-class entertainment events embraced adaptive reuse and prioritized various features our fans and stakeholders requested, namely shade over all seats, improved airflow, wider concourses, unique fan amenities, flexible capacity and rain protection to help attract other major non-football events to Jacksonville.”

Jaguars president Mark Lamping said, “While much work remains to be done, we are pleased to have completed one more step in what remains a long but manageable journey.”

The post also stated:

“When we have a more definitive renovation plan, construction timelines and cost estimates can be determined. At that point, we will be better positioned to begin a productive dialogue about a partnership structure among the Jaguars and the City of Jacksonville. Consistent with NFL rules and regulations, any Jaguars stadium lease extension will require the approval of the National Football League and 75 percent of its teams.”

According to a recent report published by industry insider Venues Now, the preliminary concepts include a shade roof covering the seating bowl and downsizing from about 67,000 to roughly 57,500-60,000 fixed seats, but no contract had been signed as of last week.

HOK is the same firm behind the renovations at the Miami Dolphins stadium and the new Atlanta Falcons stadium. HOK was competing against seven other firms.

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“We thought they did an exceptional job of understanding this building as it currently exists and addressing the many issues in a very creative way,” Lamping told Venues Now. “Everybody looked at the roof a little differently. All the submissions were really strong, but we felt HOK was a little bit better.”

HOK told News4JAX it has been selected as the architect for the project, but “could not provide additional details on the design at this time.”

A roof is something 81% of fans told the team they desperately wanted in a survey last year.

“Our fans want to see shade on the seats,” Lamping told News4JAX last year, referencing the survey. “Not surprising, they’d like it to be easier to get around the stadium in terms of the vertical transportation to get from level to level.”

Lamping told Venues Now it’s still not clear how much the project will cost.

The Jaguars rallied in the fourth quarter on Sunday to beat the Ravens 28-27 at TIAA Bank Field. Jacksonville improved to 4-7 with the win. (News4JAX)

News4JAX last checked in with Lamping in August, and he said the plans for a renovation were moving along after years of planning. News4JAX tried to talk to Lamping on Wednesday to confirm the details in the report, but the Jaguars said it would not be addressing stadium renovations at this time.

Lamping has said the plan is to form a public-private partnership to finance the upgrades. Some estimates put a stadium makeover at between $600 and $800 million, but that could change.

Major renovations for TIAA Bank Field aren’t exactly a new topic. The stadium has undergone improvements over the years, including the addition of upgraded club seats and videoboards, adding pools, and updating the South End Zone. Flex Field and Daily’s Place were also added.

But to keep the team in Jacksonville long term — the lease agreement between the team and the city expires in 2030 — significant improvements to TIAA Bank Field need to happen. And 75% of NFL owners (24 of 32) need to approve those changes before any lease agreement occurs.

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Digital reporter who has lived in Jacksonville for more than 25 years and focuses on important local issues like education and the environment.