‘They’re going to redo everything’: Mayor Lenny Curry and Mayor-elect Donna Deegan talk stadium renovations

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars plan to release renderings and videos Wednesday showing future renovations of TIAA Bank Field.

“It’s basically like a new stadium, because the bones are good but they’re going to redo everything,” Mayor Lenny Curry said.

It could cost more than $2 billion, with taxpayers picking up half of that. And the plans could go beyond just the stadium.

The stadium will have a brand new look with construction possibly beginning in 2025. We could see a retractable roof, premium seating, upgrades and possibly development at Lot J, a project the city rejected two years ago.

All of this is part of negotiations for a new stadium lease, the new mayor will take up right away, and it’s something tax payers will be paying a large portion of.

TELL US: What would you like to see in a renovated stadium for the Jaguars?

As Florida Politics first reported, documents now show what could be ahead for the stadium and surrounding grounds. It’s a plan the Jaguars and owner Shad Khan will be using in their negotiations for a new contract.

News4JAX talked with Mayor Curry and he emphasized all of this is up to Mayor Elect Donna Deegan whose administration will negotiate the deal.

“Oh, it’s gorgeous, it’s state of the art. It is obviously is going to have a covered roof. Upgrading, like to premium seating. They’ll do their presentation, I think people are going to be really excited by what they see,” Curry said.

Lot J will be known as the sports district, and with the city paying close to $100 million, but Khan paying the most to bring business development there.

“Mayor-elect, the incoming administration have shared with me that they want to get moving on this as well,” Curry said. This afternoon News4JAX got a statement from Mayor-elect Deegan which reads: “We have received the initial framework that was created and proposed by the Jaguars. I have asked Mike Weinstein to look at this for me. He brings vast experience working on complex deals for the city. “We are evaluating the framework and working with the Office of General Counsel and Council Auditor to review all prior agreements regarding the stadium and stadium-area developments. “As I have said previously, when it comes time for negotiating, we will bring in a team that is experienced in negotiating this type of deal with the NFL. We’re not there yet. Our end goal remains the same. A deal that works for taxpayers, the Jaguars, and the NFL.”

The cost of the project is surprising to some taxpayers, like Courtney Cargill, who was having lunch downtown this afternoon. When asked about the city paying $1 billion of the $2 billion renovation plans, Cargill said, “I don’t agree with that. There are other things the city should pay for other than building a stadium.”

One question is where will the Jaguars play during construction? The baseball grounds was one area suggested, but also, Orlando and UF’s stadium in Gainesville.

Another option is to have the construction done during the off season, it would take two years longer and would be more costly.

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.