Jacksonville not sure how it will pay for stadium upgrades


Lost in Wednesday’s announcement that $63 million will be devoted to upgrading EverBank Field was one fairly significant fact.

The City of Jacksonville doesn’t know how it will come up with its $43 million share.

As explained by David Bauerlein of the Florida Times-Union, some City Council members are concerned about the manner in which an agreement they’ll eventually be asked to approve will be funded.

I’m very concerned the mayor makes these announcements without having the backup financial information that everybody can look at and feel comfortable that it can be done,” Council member Matt Schellengberg said.

Council member Bill Gulliford compared the process of striking a deal to pay for the upgrades without knowing how the upgrades will be funded to “sending the fire truck after the building is burned down.”

Still, at a time when most proposals to use public money for stadium projects is met quickly and aggressively with cries of “welfare for billionaires,” Jaguars fans primarily have reacted with relief.  Which makes sense, since most of the teams trying to raid public coffers haven’t committed to playing one game per year for the next four years in London, with strong hints that the plan could be extended and expanded.

But while the devotion of another $63 million to improve EverBank Field makes the abandonment of Jacksonville by the Jaguars less likely, the tea leaves continue to point to a split schedule, with the possibility of two, three, or four home games eventually being exported to London.

“Everybody needs to understand that playing games in London is very, very important for Jacksonville and very important to this franchise,” owner Shahid Khan said Wednesday.  “We need fans, we need corporate sponsors.  Jacksonville is excellent in its fan support and has great facilities.

“But we don’t have [enough] corporate sponsors.  London is a missing piece.”

While a part-time team in London may not fit Commissioner Roger Goodell’s vision of a franchise moving there, a shared schedule would be the best way to have a strong England presence without the many logistical problems that would arise from a team playing its home games there exclusively.

And while it would be better to lose half the games than all of them to London, it’s safe to say that four games over four years is only the beginning.

73 responses to “Jacksonville not sure how it will pay for stadium upgrades

  1. Ever wonder if Tagliabue regrets awarding a franchise to that dump? If he’d just given Baltimore the team it richly deserved in 1993, The Ravens would have 3 or 4 Super Bowls by now.

  2. The overseas NFL fans have continually said they don’t want an NFL team forced on them so you’ll have empty stadiums on both sides of the pond as I have to believe the people of Jacksonville are not going to support a part-time team.

  3. Don’t they get that London is like, really too far away for a full time NFL team.

  4. They keep pushing this overseas crap when everyone HATES the idea of it. The only way to get corporate sponsors is to get fans. The only way to get fans is to win some effing ball games. I hate the Jags but that city (I lived there for 4 years) would support that team if they weren’t a terrible team for the last 10+ years. All my friends were Jags fans but didn’t want to spend all that $ to go to the games knowing the team was very likely to lose. It’s hard to blame them, most fanbases would act the same way.

  5. Someone from Baltimore of all hellholes, calling another city is a dump… All of you Jax haters, suck it!

  6. Baltimore has sold out every Ravens game since they came to Baltimore in 1996. Baltimore deserved an expansion franchise not Jacksonville.

  7. what happened to all the Orlando and Disney money ? that was going to make this one of the best placed franchises in the NFL .greedy who@es

  8. What does any of this have to do with your bizarre obsession with seeing the Jaguars move to London?

  9. Still can’t believe this city got the expansion team over Baltimore. No doubt the team in Baltimore would not have trouble attracting fans and the city of Cleveland might have been spared the gut wrenching move of the team (to Baltimore).

  10. You guys and gals are hilarious! Stole almost all my thunder. Everyone knows this is a bad idea for the fans , but Ol’ Roger doesn’t care because he does the owner’s bidding. It’s disgusting, right along with all of the over- the- top p.c. that the “Emporer” bestows upon the league, from…. some of the excessive over-the-top knee jerk reactions to “player safety” , to possibly (and sometimes actually) condemning players for bucking the p.c. bandwagon I.e. Bernard Pollard which is what it seems as though the media wants(forget the fact that most fans loved what he said because most fans actually live in …wait for it…..Reality) but thankfully and hopefully the Emporer won’t kick him out of the league…..Games in London is clearly what most fans and players don’t want ,(just like that damn 18 game schedule)but the Emporer and his bosses/partners don’t give a damn. I don’t even live in Jacksonville but this is just the beginning. Wait until your team has to go to London for home games(surely away games since a franchise in London is inevitable). What a joke…keep me laughing folks, because the Emporer sure doesn’t…

  11. @camdenyard
    You got a lot of nerve calling Jacksonville a dump! Baltimore smells like armpits, and I saw more slack-jawed, sloped fore headed hillbillies than at a David Allan Coe concert!!

  12. lennylyles says: Jun 20, 2013 8:46 PM

    Baltimore has sold out every Ravens game since they came to Baltimore in 1996. Baltimore deserved an expansion franchise not Jacksonville.


    I agree Baltimore deserved the franchise but I have 2 quick points.
    1) They didn’t get the franchise because a guy by the name of Modell was on the expansion committee, He was going broke and knew Baltimore would support a franchise and he liked the money they were offering. Jax started play in 1995, amazingly the same year Modell announced his move to Baltimore.
    2) The Ravens did not really sell out the first few years, according to the pay-off for Modell the tax payers of Maryland, Including my brother-in-law who is a Redskins fan, purchased all the unsold tickets.

  13. The city has the ability to take out the debt to fund the construction and can also use the hotel bed tax that is exclusively for these types of projects. The money will be there. Trust me.

  14. Ever wonder if Tagliabue regrets awarding a franchise to that dump? If he’d just given Baltimore the team it richly deserved in 1993, The Ravens would have 3 or 4 Super Bowls by now.


    Nice revisionist history!

    The reason the Rats won their 1st SB was the fact it was an already established Browns team that won 11 games the year before under Belichick.

    Had they gotten an expansion franchise (instead of stealing the Browns) they would have started from scratch and wouldn’t have had Newsome as their GM!

  15. @camdenyard
    If your original team hadn’t packed up and left in the middle of the night like a thief, you wouldn’t have needed a new team. By the way, I’ve been through Baltimore, and if Jacksonville is a dump, then Baltimore is the trash to fill it with!

  16. While telling J-Ville fans that London is very important, they will be raising your local taxes to pay for the stadium upgrades.

  17. If the taxpayers of Jacksonville shell out the money for stadium improvements, they should be entitled to have all eight home games played in Jacksonville.

  18. City Councilman Matt Schellenberger is known around Jacksonville as a complete idiot!

  19. Tebow could raise $63 m in like two days, just have a telethon hosted by him and Skip B and the sheep would whip out their checkbooks.

  20. London calling to the faraway towns
    Now that war is declared and battle come down
    London calling to the underworld
    Come out of the cupboard, all you boys and girls
    London calling, now don’t look to us
    Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust
    London calling, see we ain’t got no swing
    Except for the ring of that truncheon thing
    The ice age is coming, the sun’s of an end
    Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
    Engines stop running but I have no fear
    Cos London is drownin’ I… live by the river
    London calling to the imitation zone
    Forget it brother, you can go it alone
    London calling to the zombies of death
    Quit holding out and draw another breath
    London calling and I don’t wanna shout
    But while we were talking I saw you runnin’ out
    London calling, see we ain’t got no highs
    Except for that one with the yellowy eyes
    The ice age is coming, the sun’s of an end
    Engines stop running, the wheat is growing thin
    A nuclear error but I have no fear
    Cos London is drowning and I live by the river

    The ice age is coming, the sun’s of an end
    Engines stop running, the wheat is growing thin
    A nuclear error but I have no fear
    Cos London is drowning and I live by the river

    Now get this
    London calling, yes I was there too
    An’ you know what they said – well some of it was true!
    London calling at the top of the dial
    An’ after all this, won’t you give me a smile?
    London calling…

    I never felt so much a’ like a like a like a…

  21. @therillest stole my thunder but Tebow would have put butts in the seats and sold a ton of Jerseys. Jax should have signed him last year and saved both them and the Jets a painful season. I can’t think of a solution more obvious than that. Who knows, maybe Tebow could have sprinkled some magic into that God forsaken organization and won a few games.

  22. Today Jacksonville, FL proposed closing EIGHT fire stations after announcing more than $60M in budget shortfalls…. but we’re forking over another $43M in welfare to a BILLIONAIRE!?!?

    How is this any different than the guy that buys a Big-Screen TV on CREDIT when he can’t feed his own FAMILY?????

  23. Here’s a start……field a competitive, winning team that the public can support……..paint a turd all you want but it’s still just a turd.

  24. Explain again how a team in Europe will work? There is already complaints from players, coaches, media, and fans about time zone issues now.

  25. “Budget cuts may shutter six Jacksonville library branches”


    Is Shad Khan going to play educational content on his new Big-Screen TV Monday-through-Friday??

    Now if we can muster the support to close some schools, season ticket holders can have their own personal LCD-screen attached to their seat.. You won’t even have to look up at the field to see this 2-14 team!!!

  26. Don’t worry Jaguars, you’ll get your franchise QB soon enough to turn things around. It took the Ravens long enough, but it happened.

  27. By the way if you trolls ever actually went to jacksonville, it is a great city.. Beach,Nightlife, and great local Art in Jacksonville and st augustine. I live in Orlando, have lived in charlotte,Boston, and Virginia and id gladly take jacksonville anyday over any of those citys

  28. JAX should remove the tarps from the far reaches of the stadium and sell those tickets for $10 each – cash only – on the day of game.

    It would help cultivate a larger fan base, attract a younger audience, and help pay for the upgrades.

  29. Jags have tarps and we still have a 67 thousand seat stadium witch 96 percent was filled this year. Jacksonville home of beautiful beaches awesome weather and beautiful woman sounds like my kinda dump.

  30. The OWNER will profit, therefore, the OWNER should pay every last dime for the upgrade.

  31. I really don’t see any compelling reason for the Jaguars to move out of Jacksonville. In spite of having a 2-14 team, they drew 65,000 fans per game last year. And now, they’re announcing major stadium upgrades, with the owner tossing in 2o million bucks to help pay for them. So what’s the reasoning behind these constant Jaguars-to-London articles? It doesn’t make sense.

  32. odenxx says:
    Jun 20, 2013 8:47 PM
    LA Staring to look Pretty good. If you come they will build it, Yes I know they are ass backwards over here.

    Thanks for the laugh, lol.

  33. If city’s just started saying NO to paying for stadium upgrades or building new stadiums within a few years there would be an abundance of NFL teams with no place to go but home. Miami, Rams, and Jacksonville are three city’s who haven’t gotten deals just within the last month. There are other teams who have been denied city / state money despite making threats to leave. Even a large city like LA can’t get stadium funds to attract a team. City’s should just wise up because they have a lot more important money issues to solve.

  34. The jaguars are a horrible franchise. What have they ever won? Nothing!
    Now, you all know who is going to pay for the new stadium so lets not even kid ourselves. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the working man gets screwed until he dies, and then they screw the survivors. Life in America baby and that is a fact!

  35. “officialgame says:
    Jun 21, 2013 6:42 AM
    If city’s just started saying NO to paying for stadium upgrades or building new stadiums within a few years there would be an abundance of NFL teams with no place to go but home. Miami, Rams, and Jacksonville are three city’s who haven’t gotten deals just within the last month.”

    The Jaguars do have a deal in place with the city. If you watched the news conference, the mayor of Jacksonville and city council president were with the owner when the announcement was made. It is being paid for by a bed tax. Pretty standard in Florida. Just some i’s to dot and t’s to cross. The construction won’t start until January, so they have time to iron out the specifics.

  36. I don’t know why you national media keeps saying negative things about our city and our Jags. We love this team. 2-14 and all. We put 65,000 people in that stadium, come game day. We have some of the best golf in the country – ever heard of TPC Sawgrass? We have some of the best school systems, excellent beaches and surfing, great art, St. Johns river, Intracoastal waterway, great restaurants, historic St. Augustine and yes, football! Yes, our downtown may not look like NY City. So while you guys keep talking trash about us, we enjoy great weather year round in sunny Florida and come next year, we will be lounging by the pool at our stadium in our shorts, yes shorts till November. Keep talking… GO JAGS!

  37. @borisbulldog – you said:

    “Nice revisionist history!

    The reason the Rats won their 1st SB was the fact it was an already established Browns team that won 11 games the year before under Belichick.”

    Nice try. Besides Ozzie Newsome and a minimal ammount of staff, the only remaining component from the Brown team that moved that won a superbowl was Matt Stover. Team completely turned over.

    And before it turned over, the team that came to Baltimore in 1996/1997 SUCKED. Look it up.

  38. All you Jacksonville fans who live here-
    If you are saying the taxpayers need to pay this money, you are all idiots! Have you forgotten about the Police and Firemen who took 3%pay cuts, and the loss of pensions for new hires because” There was no money????”
    So you want to give that money to RICH PEOPLE for a GAME?
    How about giving it back to the Public safety men and women and their families!
    I follow Miami, and I whole heartedly feel that Stephen Ross should pay for every bit of renovations to Sun Life Stadium.
    Both Khan and Ross could take notes from Joe Robbie!

  39. Jagsfannomore, thank you for the posts. People do not realize Jacksonville has a Democratic celebrity Mayor who loves to spend other people’s money.

  40. What does this site and it’s curator have against the Jaguars ? Case in point….a positive note comes out about the Jags, the announcement about the upgrades, and it first appears on this sites home page at the bottom and is completely off of the home page within a hour.

    Negative headline that appeared on home page last evening “city can’t pay blah, blah”(Thursday) AT THE TOP, and has remained near the top since then.

    So what is the vendetta against this franchise, city and it’s fans ??

  41. If Goodell wants to spread the NFL overseas w/poor teams, then why not Oakland plays in Tokyo? They already like baseball, and talk about sponsors!!!

  42. So, how does taking away games from the Jags help the city of Jacksonville, Khan? That’s lost revenue from the bars, restaurants, hotels, shops. Meanwhile you’re forcing the taxpayers to foot the construction of luxury boxes and upgrades. Then there’s the announcements of cuts to emergency services like firehouses. Yes, our priorities are straight. Got it.

    If a small city like Green Bay can easily support a team, then so can Jacksonville. Heck, Jacksonville is the 12th largest city in the country. There should be enough sponsors without having to go across the world.

  43. @grandafan…don’t believe what you read. Kahn IS NOT taking no more than 1 home game a year for the next 4 years. This site is twisting his words. He has NEVER said ANYTHING about a split schedule. 4 home games in Jax and 4 home games in London, NEVER !!!

    Kahn is dumping a ton if his own $$$$$ here in the Ville, he wants this team to succeed here !!!!!

  44. Everyone who is complaining about the possibility of shutting down libraries and fire stations obviously does not understand how governmental budgeting works.

    There are two types of budgets that governments utilize; operating and capital improvement. The operating budgets are on a one-year cycle and is based off of revenues such as ad-valorem taxes, sales tax, user fees, etc. Capital Improvement Programs are long-term budgets such as stadium improvements, building fire stations, building courthouses, building airport terminals. Think of it as financing like a person would do for a vehicle and/or a home. The capital improvement budget has various ways that it can be paid for such as secured and unsecured municipal bonds, creative financing, bed tax revenues, surcharges to tickets.

    For anyone who currently buys a ticket to an event at Everbank Field you will see a city surcharge, that money has been filling the coffers of the city of Jacksonville for 18 years. What I believe will happen is that you will see those surcharges increase slightly starting next year to help fund these stadium improvements.

    Look when you purchase an airline ticket, you will see a fee for the use of the Airport Terminal. It is a great way to limit taxpayer support and to charge the people who access the service.

    So make sure you understand that the closing of fire stations and libraries has nothing to do with the approval of stadium renovations. Think of it as you canceling your gym membership because you have higher priorities. Capital improvement projects are intended to bring in more money to cities and there is no doubt that this project will do that.

  45. So here we are, trying to find revenue. Dollars were laying on the ground, new GM immediately alienates thousands of NE Florida fans, by stating emphatically no Tebow, no way. What kind of thinking was that? Just brilliant local PR!
    Try London, more great thinking! Find a way to fill the stadium! You had it laying in front of you, now another brilliant Jaguar press release, we will play some games in London, that could save our team!
    What are these people thinking?

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