Jacksonville City Council defeats Jaguars’ Lot J deal

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Jaguars owner Shad Khan has a vision for the area around the stadium in which the team plays its home games in Jacksonville. Jacksonville does not share that vision.

On Tuesday, the Jacksonville City Council defeated the so-called “Lot J” proposal for development of the area around TIAA Bank Field. The proposal needed a 13-vote supermajority; the effort failed, 12-7.

We pulled the plug on Lot J,” Jaguars president Mark Lamping said, via News4Jax.com. “It’s dead . . . . [I]t’s time to turn the page.”

The proposal hinged on a $152.7 million public investment that now won’t be made.

Jaguars owner Shad Khan presumably won’t be happy about the development. In October, he made crystal clear his belief that the Lot J proposal was critical to the growth of Jacksonville.

“Jacksonville’s ceiling is high — remarkably so; that’s particularly true here in downtown,” Khan said at the time. “It’s imperative that we have the ambition and the vision to answer this calling once and for all. If Jacksonville is to be everything we can be, this project is just the beginning and it’s time we begin.”

It won’t be beginning. And it could impact in a negative way the relationship between city and team.

“This is part of our commitment to the city of Jacksonville — to have a vital downtown,” Khan said in October. “I said this eight years ago when I was introduced as owner of the Jaguars, that I was going to look for every way to make NFL football viable here. This is just one part of the strategy.”

That part of the strategy has been scrapped. Lamping said that the team will focus on development in the shipyards.

Outsiders will now fairly wonder whether the team will focus instead on playing more of its games in London.

18 responses to “Jacksonville City Council defeats Jaguars’ Lot J deal

  1. Oh stop with your London bs! The Jags are on the verge of getting Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence if the product on the field is good they aren’t going anywhere.

  2. Spend your own money. Invest in your team instead of trying to be the next Vince McMahon or Glazer family.

  3. Everyone seems convinced the Jags are London’s team of the future but no one seems to be interested in asking UK NFL fans what they think of that. I’m not a Jags fan, never will be a Jags fan and no amount of Jags games in London will change that. We have our chosen teams here and just because the Jags cannot succeed in Jacksonville does not mean we want the castoffs. I genuinely thought a UK franchise would be OUR OWN franchise, not a failed US franchise. Thats obviously my mistake but isnt that what growing the game means?

  4. every way to make NFL football viable here.
    Except in the most important way.
    Fielding a good team.

  5. There are many other cities that would welcome the Jags. Too bad their hometown isn’t one of them.

  6. “It’s imperative that we have the ambition and the vision to answer this calling once and for all. If Jacksonville is to be everything we can be, this project is just the beginning and it’s time we begin.”
    So says the billionaire while asking for $152,700,000. I’m all for economic cooperation between government and business. But this is a handout that isn’t necessary.

  7. Jacksonville just lost out on a huge chance at a development partnership for their community with this owner. Unbeliveable economic misstep for the city here.

  8. The project looks pretty cool. Tax revenue projections must not have penciled out…

  9. Former Jax resident here- the downtown area has a HUGE waterfront area right next to the stadium that is NOT being used. Concrete rubble and overgrown grass within walking distance to the stadium. Khan wanted to develop it into a beautiful, thriving area with restaurants and bars. But NOOOOO. The rubes on the city council would rather have concrete rubble and overgrown grass and chain-link fence than to make money. Bob’s Barricades owns that town anyway. When I first visited in 1993, the I10/I95 confluence was under major construction. Guess what? The same barriers are STILL there. With all the Bubbas in that town, nothing every gets done correctly if at all.

    Worst part is, the football stadium, baseball stadium, and arena are all within a few blocks of each other. When multiple events are going on, parking is a NIGHTMARE. And guess how many bars and restaurants are in the area? ONE! And it’s changed ownership 5 times. Oh, I forgot, the brewery and distillery moved in too- but look at real cities like Baltimore (I know, hold your nose), Boston, and others that have a thriving downtown district. The only thing Jax has is the dank smell of burnt Maxwell House. Glad I moved. It’s getting too URBAN there anyway.

  10. First of all, yes there’s still construction on the I-10/I-95 interchange. What you failed to mention was it’s nothing like it was in 1993. You also failed to mention that I-10 is no longer a drawbridge which brought traffic to a halt whenever a boat came through (that was utterly ridiculous). It’s now a four-lane (as opposed to two-lane) bridge over the river. Sure, Jax isn’t the best big city in the world but that’s not really the problem with the Jags. The problem with the Jags is the owner. Ever since he bought the team it’s been a loser and will continue to be a loser as long as he owns it.

    And by the way, Shad Khan is worth $8B. If this project is so important to him why can’t he come up with the $150M? He could sell his $250M yacht if it’s so important….especially if it would make generate all the revenue he claims. He might have gotten more support had he not turned the Jags into a laughing stock. He’s one of the worst owners in all of professional sports.

  11. For those who don’t live here let me tell you what’s happening. Jacksonville has spent three decades observing other growing cities. Wow these cities have grown and become great places to visit, Jacksonville still holds on to its prime land waiting for that perfect opportunity.
    They have shown that again with this latest deal.
    Look at cities like Orlando Nashville in Miami. You will see sky cranes building all over the city.
    Not one here.
    This is what the city council wants. They can never break out of their distressed, vacant, and dangerous downtown area.
    Khan tried to change this for the better.
    He too will now realize that the city council doesn’t want anything new here.

  12. Doesn’t Kahn know how politics work? Send a courier to the office of the official who’s standing in the way of your project with a leather briefcase full of enough cash to get your project passed.

  13. I live in the UK and we don’t want our own team. Much better to have different teams over here every year. This is the overwhelming opinion here in the UK.

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