Taxpayers will spend $1.25 million for Wi-Fi at Jaguars games


In the NFL’s continuing quest to convince fans not to abandon the stadium experience for the comforts of home, providing fans in the stands with reliable Wi-Fi connections for their smart phones and tablets is a priority. So NFL teams are spending significant money on improving their internet connections.

But it’s not just the teams spending money. In some cases it’s also the taxpayers.

In Jacksonville, taxpayers will spend $1.25 million for improved Wi-Fi service at EverBank Field, where the Jaguars play their home games, according to WOKV. The expenditure is part of a larger $63 million upgrade at EverBank Field, of which the Jaguars are paying $20 million and the taxpayers are paying $43 million.

It’s fair to ask whether $1.25 million for Wi-Fi at NFL games is a good use of taxpayer money, but Jacksonville’s elected leaders have decided that it is. They’re committed to keeping the Jaguars in town — and to spending the taxpayers’ money to do so.

90 responses to “Taxpayers will spend $1.25 million for Wi-Fi at Jaguars games

  1. 1.25 million? On something the taxpayers didn’t even vote on to approve? So the NFL could make a few bucks?

    Sounds like a free country to me

  2. It cost me to approx $150 to set up wifi in my house.
    Now its just a little over $30 a month.
    Something doesnt sound right here

  3. I can’t wait until the season starts. Hate on haters. Go Jags!!!

  4. Why should it cost them anything? I’m sure what ever company is supporting the WiFi will have signs and commercials promoting themselves. That should be how it’s paid for, not by the Taxpayers!

  5. Thirty-two cities is the country have NFL football teams. Regardless of how the Jags play, it’s still a cash cow to have around. $1.25 million is a drop in the bucket in comparison to the revenue the team brings to the city. Make the “in stadium” experience better and people won’t stay home to watch games. Smart move to me…

  6. I’m thinking the same thing as the guy up above here: If the Jags couldn’t get a corporation to sponsor the WiFi at zero cost then they’re absolutely horrible at doing business.

  7. Technically only those that stay in hotels will be paying for it… Whether the additional money is borrowed or not for the wi-fi, the $43M reported is coming from a hotel bed tax..

  8. Yeah, because the one thing that pisses me off about the stadium experience is having no wi-fi, so that I’m forced to enjoy the action of the field and interact with my friends instead of maintaining my digital world.


  9. When I pay that much for tickets, my eyes are on the field every second of the game, including the wiener dog races and other stuff they do at halftime.

  10. So, the “in stadium experience” will be a fan sitting in a stadium in 20 degree weather, wearing a parka, under a blanket, chugging down hot chocolate, with their head buried in their smart phone or tablet?

  11. So let me get this right, you want to get Jaguar fans to come to more games so what is you solution is to make them pay 1.25 million for something they didn’t ask for and most likely with this day in age should have at home. Yup that should get the fans flocking to Jaguar games, hey y’all paying 1.25 million for WI-FI better pay even more money and buy tickets to get your use out of it.

  12. Normally Wi-Fi wouldn’t be so expensive but apparently fans prefer to watch Netflix during home games.

  13. Another sign the taxpayer revolution to kick everybody out of office. Republicans and Democrats.

  14. Taxpayers are paying for it because they own the stadium. The Jags lease the stadium(for a very pretty penny mind you) from the city of Jacksonville. They are now improving the stadium per terms of the lease so that they can collect more money. Get a grip people.

  15. Gotta love technology. Although I am starting to hate all forms of it, I can understand WiFi at school, work, and home. But at a football game? Uh why?

  16. The stadium is half empty on a good day anyway… why would people go to a game just to hop on the net, instead of heading to the local coffee shop.

  17. Anyone who thinks you can just setup wifi for 60k people as you would at home is wrong. The amount of compute and network throughput required for than many people in a single location is immense. It’s possible that many people will have more than one device once they know WiFi is freely available (phone and tablet etc..), which only compounds the issue of compute power and throughput.

    It will probably take over 100 WAPs to cover the entire stadium with a usable signal, and it will be a security nightmare. I strongly advise anyone who might attend a game there to stick with your carriers data at the game.

    If there was ever a target rich environment for a hacker it would be an NFL game with free public WiFi and drunken fans more focused on the game than what you can glean from their screens.

  18. Completely false about taxpayers having to pay 43 Million. 43 Million came from a Hotel Bed Taxes specifically made for things like stadiums and other construction.

  19. Let’s say it’s useful for five years. At ten games a year and 60,000 seats that works out to about 30 cents a seat for each game. Yawn…

  20. So many ill informed people. The Jags aren’t non for profit, the NFL is, there is a difference. The stadium is owned by the city, not the Jags. It will benefit other sporting events, concerts, etc. This isn’t the first field to get wifi, Bucs have had it for years. If you’re a fantasy football junkie like me, wifi is a great when cell service is poor and I’m trying to see other scores, etc.

  21. 1.25 million? NFL teams make that off of severely overpriced beer sales before the ball even gets kicked off. That better be some fios 75/30.

  22. I am no fan of subsidizing billionaires but the way of the NFL these days is that the city has to bear some costs or teams will move, which the owner has, I believe, refrained from threatening to do. And according to the linked article the team is voluntarily contributing more than the city.

    And consider the economics. Assume the WiFi infrastructure has a useful life of 10 years. That makes the cost 125K per season, or 17.5k per game. How many more fans have to attend per game to generate that amount in tax and lease revenues? Is the city better served by making sure the team stays for a small investment than saving some money but having an empty, unused stadium on its hands? You have to consider city’s overall benefit.

  23. not unreasonable. Most governments will pay for infrastructure to attract and retain businesses in their jurisdiction. WiFi is infrastructure. They probably paid for road improvements and water/sewer for the stadium also. This is SOP. Sometimes for big businesses that employ many locals, governments might even waive taxes for 5,10,15 years.

  24. Team is paying 2 Million taxpayers 1.25 the problem is let’s say conservatively 50% of the fans of that area won’t attend the game rather watch it at home. 30 % Don’t watch the NFL so I’m sure a majority of the taxpayers will be shocked when they hear $1.25 million was spent so “Johnny” can keep track of his Fantasy Football Team.

  25. I get the new push for technology in stadiums, but call me old fashion, I go to a $300 day of a game to you know, watch the game live

  26. Well, I guess on the surface it sounds bad but you have to remember that it is going to line the pockets of a billionaire and not to improve schools or roads or any of that crap.

  27. Hey why should you be at a disadvantage in your FFL by going to a game? This way you can tailgate, go into the stadium, take a whiz and do that last minute change to your squad. I think it works. That has to be worth about $1.25M give or take a million or so.

  28. I don’t understand the problem people have, the Jags don’t own the stadium. This will benefit far more than just for Jags games. Sounds like a win win to me.

  29. I still don’t get the logic behind this. When I go to a game, I watch the game. I don’t want/need access to the internet. You can’t change your fantasy line-up once the games start and the up to the second knowledge of each player’s stats from other games seems pointless. The end result will be the same regardless if you were aware during the game.

    I could see it somewhat if there were some added feature provided at the game via wifi (not mentioned above) but it just seems unnecessary, much less worthy of tax dollars

  30. So let me get this straight. Florida rejected expanded Medicaid for over 1 million poor Floridians, leaving them without basic health care, but then hand over 40 million dollars to one billionaire to expand his palace for 8 home football games per year.

    What is happening in this country?

  31. It is actually bed tax money that has to be spent on sporting venues in Jacksonville. So, it is the out of town visitors that are actually paying for it. Pretty smart huh? Shad Khan is actually putting up a majority of the money for the Wi-Fi. EverBank Field will be one of the nicest venues in the NFL.

  32. I noticed that WOKV reported this and since they lost the radio contract for the official Jaguars station they might be trying to report this with a negative twist. Would they have reported it if they were still the official station?

  33. And that boys, is what capitalism is all about: pretend it’s about “personal responsibility” when it’s really “we can just rely on the taxpayers to always bail us out since we own Congress.”

    This November, vote for the person with the least amount of commercials or ads on TV/radio/print. They haven’t been bought (yet).

  34. The best way the nfl can improve the fan experience is to allow tackling, qb sacks and open field hits.

  35. Not that crazy really. Figure a router costs $60 for every 2 people in a stadium (30000 pairs) is 1.8 million. Not saying this is how the number was reached cuz you figure they have some BA routers and probably got a deal. What is the upkeep is the real question.

  36. Well I’m glad the Florida state legislature took such a strong stand to prevent the Dolphins from using the same arrangement to upgrade their stadium. I would expect a strongly worded statement from state lawmakers condemning this move…but then I remember how much closer Jacksonville is to Tallahassee.

    in any case, public stadium funding is misguided at best, and economic stupidity at its worst. Good work, Taxonville!

  37. What a waste. The jags already play 25% of their home games in London. Can’t the fantasy dorks use their LTE data for those 3 hrs? Better use of that money would be filling the unused upper deck with some inner city youth and expanding your fan base…. But what do I know

  38. Just giving the fans the option of watching a professional football game on their electronics.

  39. Dumb Dumb Dumb. AT&T is corporate sponsor of the Cowboys and sadly just like the team they can’t establish a connection to save their life. Probably a good thing though so the world has to wait till after the game to find out how bad Garrett coached the team to another loss. Up 24 points but let’s keep throwing the ball, running is so overrated…..

  40. I enjoy football and all sports but taxpayers should not be paying for wifi upgrades, let alone financing any sports stadiums or arenas. The sports owners owners are in business for a profit and all the sports associations are just being subsidized by taxpayers. Folks will support this to not lose teams that provide jobs to the community but bottom line: it’s fleecing of the American taxpayers!

  41. 1.25 million dollars for wifi? The taxpayers should demand to see details of this contract.

  42. The elected officials should take a 25% paycut for the time period it would take to re-pay the 1.25 million.

    I’d wager it wouldn’t get approved then.

  43. The city will make that money back when they get the bid for the BCS Nat’l Championship game. Also, it would do everyone good to take a class on governmental accounting. It’s painfully obvious that most people don’t understand the fund system of accounting. If you did you would understand the concept of earmarking and realize this “tax money” has been designated for special purpose use and is considered restricted meaning it cannot be moved to another fund. A municipality cannot operate like a “for profit” business. This money was sitting there waiting to be spent on something like this. You don’t have to like it and you should voice your desire to see how money is allocated, but you can’t fault the system if you’re only source of complaint is a blog and not your local city hall. Municipalities are required to keep two sets of financials (fund financial and government wide. The fund financial books are there to review. Go ask to see them and educate yourself. Go jags!

  44. that’s quite an investment for a franchise that goodell is trying to move to london…

  45. Isn’t this the same team that has a swimming pool and cabanas in their stadium?

    I get the whole fan experience thing, but seems to me that for the real football fans anyway, the experience really has to do with the product on the field. Until progress is made on the front, all the rest of this B.S. just comes off as a diversion.

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