Survey says! Jaguars fans support stadium renovation, desperately want shade

Survey results announced by 1st Downtown on Tuesday shine light on what a stadium of the future looks like

Rain not sugar pours at TIAA Bank Field as The Stadium Tour starts with splash

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Results from a survey asking fans about a stadium of the future for the Jaguars were released Tuesday by the 1st Downtown organization, with a couple things very clear — fans want to be cooled down at Jaguars games and they’re heavily in favor of a renovation of TIAA Bank Field.

A total of 5,842 web-based surveys were completed, according to the report from CAA Icon, and the bulk of the responses came from season-ticket holders.

The most important item on the wish list for fans who took part in the survey — shade.

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%).

Games in the Florida heat are notoriously difficult to sit through, with temperatures consistently in the mid- to high-80s for September home games. With little to no respite from the sun, shade makes perfect sense.

The least important items among those surveyed were the addition of a family seating section and a fantasy football lounge.

Among those who returned surveys, 65% said that they were generally satisfied with TIAA Bank Field.

Team performance was a big reason why former season-ticket holders elected to not renew, with 64% saying the struggles are why they left. More than half (51%) said that lack of shade was the reason they opted to not buy them again.

Among the most important aspect of a better gameday experience, respondents rated the team’s performance and the affordability of the experience equally.

CAA Icon also conducted small focus groups with fans, who were generally satisfied with the viewing experience from their seats. Those groups cited the heat as a negative experience on gameday. Other areas of concerns were narrow concourse areas, having wider seats and excessive prices and lack of options in the concession areas.

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.

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.

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. Team president Mark Lamping told News4JAX last April that there’s no specific timeline on the renovations but studies on changes and conversations about it continue.

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.