Price tag for Jaguars futuristic stadium expected to be at least $1.3 billion, president says

Major construction could start in 2026

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There was a buzz in the city after the Jacksonville Jaguars released plans for a futuristic stadium remodel.

It is something many are excited about. And it’s not just the stadium. If approved, the changes would impact downtown and the Eastside of the city.

MORE: ‘Stadium of the Future’: Jaguars reveal renovation plans in online presentation

Any change to the stadium and surrounding area is going to take a lot more negotiating and a lot of money, possibly up to $2 billion for all of it and possibly half of that coming from the taxpayer.

“What people saw today would be in the range of $1.3 to $1.4 billion and it’s significantly less than if we would have built a new stadium. Building a new stadium with what was released today would be almost a billion dollars more so we think this is the most efficient way to go. This is the least disruptive way to go, we think, and it’s also the least expensive,” Jaguars team president Mark Lamping said.

Lamping said if he had it his way, major construction would begin in 2026, following the conclusion of the 2025 NFL season.

A new sports district development, in the mold of Lot J, could possibly be folding into the deal and cost between $550 and $668 million, placing the combined cost between $1.75 and $2.068 billion.

Early negotiations between Lenny Curry’s administration and the team put the cost to the public between $800 and $934 million for the stadium upgrades and between $75 and $100 million for the sports district, putting the total amount of potential public investment at a minimum of $875 million.

Of course, that could all change with mayor-elect Donna Deegan coming in and bringing her own negotiating team.

Over the years there have been plenty of upgrades at the stadium, including massive video boards, swimming pools and an amphitheater, but the new plans basically call for a complete makeover.

The team laid out the drastic changes in an online presentation on Wednesday.

“Fans will enter through a tropical Floridian park into the concourse now raised 30 feet above ground level, providing unmatched views to the city in the water. Using state-of-the-art materials and the latest technology, a shade canopy will reduce the heat factor by 70%, protecting fans from the elements. It will help to redefine downtown Jacksonville as a place where business and higher education intersect with the potential of a new University of Florida satellite campus on the fairground site. It will be a driver in the growth and evolution of our industries and workforce, creating jobs, inspiring careers in capturing the imagination of people everywhere,” the video said.

‘Stadium of the Future’: Jaguars reveal renovation plans in online presentation (News4JAX)

It’s that presentation that captivated fans attending Wednesday’s Jumbo Shrimp game next to the stadium.

“I definitely think the stadium needs upgrades. And those look nice,” said Jaguars fan Shea Skorusa.

Skorusa said even with the big price tag, and the use of public money, the changes would be worth it.

“Just because I do feel like it will bring in a lot more people and a lot more revenue. So you kind of have to spend money to make money I feel like,” Skorusa said.

Laytoya Silcox works at the ballpark and believes this is what is needed for the area.

“It’s a little pricey, but everything costs. Everything costs,” Silcox said, adding that a new stadium is desperately needed.

A UNF poll last spring said that 61% of those surveyed “oppose the expenditure, either strongly or somewhat.” The number used in that poll was $750 million.

For people and businesses in the Eastside neighborhood around the stadium, the upgrade would be major.

KaCheryl Gantt, known as Miss Cookie to her customers at Avenue Grille, this will be a major boost to the area, but she does have concerns.

“I think it’d be very good especially for the Eastside community and the businesses that are along this corridor and the businesses that are going to come but what are we going to do until the stadium is being into the stadium is done being built?” Gantt said. “If we’re not able to have games here it could be a problem.”

It is something the Jaguars are working on with upcoming negotiations. It would take two years to rebuild the stadium if the team plays elsewhere while the stadium is built or four years for construction if it’s done during the off-season. But the four-year option would cost increase the construction cost by about $125 million, Lamping estimated.

In a statement today Mayor-Elect Deegan said:

“It’s a beautiful vision for economic revitalization. Infrastructure, especially in our older historic neighborhoods, will be one of the key priorities of my administration. I look forward to the coming negotiations and a deal that is good for taxpayers which keeps the Jaguars in Jacksonville for generations to come.”

About the Author:

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