Jaguar unveils plans to develop Jacksonville City
Jacksonville, Fla. – The Jaguars on Thursday unveiled plans to develop the city of Jacksonville, with team owner Shad Khan investing $60 million for the city-owned performance center, which was instrumental in wooing new coach Urban Mayer to the NFL was.
The first of the two phases will begin by the end of the year and will take four years to complete at an estimated cost of $441 million. The proposal still requires approval from a review board and city council.
“Shad is making a big bet on our future,” said Jaguar president Mark Lamping. “So, that’s a big plan. Working together, we can make this happen.”
The ambitious project also calls for the Jaguars to donate $4 million over 20 years to help maintain Metropolitan Park near the stadium.
Phase II consists of an orthopedic sports medicine complex, street-level retail space and possibly a residential building.
Jaguar hopes the venture will be a catalyst for the city’s growth that could attract more people to the area for work and recreation.
“My goal is for the city of Jacksonville to be the envy of cities in America and elsewhere, and I see no reason why we can’t achieve that goal,” Khan said. “I believe we have the local leadership, spirit and commitment to revitalize the City of Jacksonville in a way that will make the world take notice while serving the needs of the community and the people who make Jacksonville their home.”
Khan has spent nearly a decade working to improve Jacksonville and its aging stadium. They funded locker, weight and training room makeovers as well as cost-sharing for installing supersized scoreboards and building an indoor practice area and adjoining amphitheater. He also pushed for an overhaul of the stadium club sections.
He eventually wants to give Jacksonville the “stadium of the future,” meaning a $500 million or more makeover with the potential to have covered seating around the entire venue. They believe an upgrade is needed to increase local revenue and eventually eliminate the need to play annually in London.
The Jaguars are one of a handful of NFL teams that conduct their entire operations from their stadiums. The meeting rooms and offices are all located inside the nearly 30-year-old site. This surprised Mayer, who had state-of-the-art facilities at Ohio State and was in much sought-after Jacksonville before agreeing to take the job in January.
Jags will sign a long-term lease of the performance centre, which is due to open in the summer of 2023, and will take full responsibility for operating costs.
The 125,000-square-foot building will have locker rooms, meeting rooms, training and recovery areas, medical support facilities, a weight room, dining facilities, coaching and scouting offices, a draft room and public meeting space. There will also be two practice areas and an indoor practice area.
Jacksonville’s current indoor practice area, completed in 2017, will be converted into the city’s Parks and Recreation Department for more than 300 days of programming.
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