Shade, better Wi-Fi, full roof? Jaguars reaching out to fans on upgraded stadium choices

FILE - An exterior view of TIAA Bank Field prior to the start of the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 23, 2018, in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) (Scott Halleran, 2018 Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars are asking ticketholders for their input as they continue to do their research on a “Stadium of the Future” to upgrade TIAA Bank Field.

The team sent out surveys to Jaguars supporters on Thursday, inviting them to answer a number of questions about changes that they’d be in favor of for an updated TIAA Bank Field.

One of the recurring topics in the survey — shade for the notoriously hot gameday experience of afternoon games in Florida — was mentioned more than a dozen times.

The survey blast to ticketholders comes just three days after a new stadium agreement for the Buffalo Bills was reached, with a massive amount of the $1.4 billion project — $850 million — coming from public money.

The state of New York is set to commit $600 million and Erie County another $250 million for the new stadium. Public money being used to heavily fund new NFL stadiums isn’t exactly new, but the amounts they are being asked to contribute are.

According to the Associated Press, Nevada sank $750 million into a new stadium to draw the Raiders to Las Vegas. Arthur Blank, who owns the Falcons, said he’s expecting to get as much as $700 million from future tax revenues as part of his agreement to build Mercedes-Benz Stadium, according to the AP.

Major renovations for TIAA Bank Field aren’t exactly a new topic. The stadium has undergone improvements over the years, including the additions 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.

Owner Shad Khan spoke in-depth in 2019 during the State of the Franchise about stadium upgrades and renovations to bring TIAA Bank Field into line with other facilities in the NFL.

Since the Jaguars entered the NFL in 1995, Jacksonville and Buffalo were the only two franchises that hadn’t built a new stadium or had renovations of $300 million or more. With Buffalo’s new stadium deal now approved by the league (it still faces state lawmaker approval), the clock is ticking for the Jaguars.

The Jaguars sent a survey out to ticketholders on Thursday asking questions about what they'd like to see at an upgraded TIAA Bank Field. (News4JAX)

The good news for Jacksonville is that TIAA Bank Field wouldn’t need to be razed completely. Team president Mark Lamping has stressed on multiple occasions that all the studies done on the current stadium show that it remains structurally sound and can be renovated and updated.

In a University of North Florida poll done last month, respondents were opposed to the idea of taxpayers splitting the bill for stadium upgrades, with 70% objecting to it. Of those who were opposed, 53% strongly opposed.

A sampling of questions on the survey, which takes roughly 10 to 15 minutes to go through, are below:

How important to you is shade coverage on all seats for a renovation of TIAA Bank Field?

How important to you is coverage or protection from rain on all seats for a renovation of TIAA Bank Field?

How important was the potential renovation on your interest in season tickets?

How important is shade in your seating decision?

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.