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Everbank Field

Aerial View
Copyright 1995 by Scott Schwartz
Inaugural Game September 3, 1995
Aerial Views Publishing

  Venue Resources  
Address One EverBank Field Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone (904) 633-6100
Official Website
Seating Weather
Newspaper
Satellite View
Jaguars Gear
  Calendar / Tickets  
Hotels, Dining & Deals in Jacksonville

  The Facility  
Date Opened 1946
Major Renovation August 18, 1985
Ownership
(Management)
City of Jacksonville
(Spectacor Management Group)
Surface Grass
Cost of Construction Unknown
$121 million renovation completed in 1995.
Stadium Financing Renovation: city bond issue; state rebate; lodging tax; ticket surcharge.
Former Names Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
(1946-1996)
Gator Bowl
Alltel Stadium
(1997-2007)
Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
(2007-2010)
Everbank Field
(2010-Present)
Naming Rights ALLTEL paid $6.2 million for 10-year naming rights in 1997. EverBank, a privately owned company paid a five-year, $16.6 million naming rights deal in 2010.
Stadium Architect 1995 Renovation: Populous
General
Contractors /
Construction Managers
Huber, Hunt & Nichols
  Other Facts  
Tenants Jacksonville Jaguars
(NFL) (1995-Present)
Gator Bowl
(NCAA) (1996-Present)
ACC Championship Game
(NCAA) (2005-present)
The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party
(College Football)
(1995-present)
Population Base 1,000,000
On Site Parking 6,000
Nearest Airport Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)
Retired Numbers None

  Seating  
Capacity 76,877
Average Ticket $40.16
(2005)
$55.30
(2008)
Fan Cost Index (FCI) $234.55
(2005)
$302.09
(2008)
The Team Marketing Report FCI includes: four average-price tickets; four small soft drinks; two small beers; four hot dogs; two game programs; parking; and two adult-size caps.
Luxury Suites 75 Suites
Club Seats 11,000
  Attendance History  
Season  Total  Capacity Change
1995 554,814 94% N/A
1996 533,533 90% -3.8%
1997 558,147 95% 4.6%
1998 561,472 95% 1%
1999 468,728 79% -16.52%
2000 482,510 82.6% -10.7%

2001 2002 2003 2004
483,542 450,216 428,072 555,464

2005 2006 2007 2008
525,519 534,866 522,410 521,338

2009 2010 2011 2012
397,214 504,262 498,655 519,872


Sources: Mediaventures

Situated on ten acres, adjacent to the beautiful St. Johns River and in the heart of downtown, Everbank Field (formerly Jacksonville Municipal Stadium) is a desired destination for the citizens of the First Coast of Florida.

Scoreboard
Click Here to Get Your Personalized Scoreboard
As the "Gator Bowl", Everbank Field hosted record crowds for internationally acclaimed performances of the Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson, while quietly establishing itself as a candidate location for other national and international events. Then in 1994, a new era for the stadium began with the naming of an NFL franchise to the City of Jacksonville and the start of a $135 million dollar renovation project. Now the home of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, this "cadillac of stadiums" also continues to host the annual NCAA University of Florida vs. University of Georgia, and Gator Bowl football games. The stadium's new highly visible status with a professional franchise attracts other activities which generate enormous public image, demonstrated by the upcoming U2 concert. Functioning as the area's largest and most completely equipped outdoor meeting venue, the facility enables Jacksonville to compete for national and regional gatherings of large groups. A 1996 gathering of the Promise Keepers drew nearly full-house attendance for each session of the three-day stay. The recent renovations have made possible the stadium's increased ability to host a wide variety of events.

Everbank Field's function is that of a proven economic generator. When filled to capacity in support of the Jaguars or for some truly special event, it becomes one of the largest communities in the First Coast.

Source: Jacksonville Home Page

HOK Sports Works Overtime to Make Dream
Come True for Jacksonville and the Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE - A new era in football will begin on Sunday, September 3rd, 1995, when the Jacksonville Jaguars begin regular season play. Adding to the excitement of an expansion NFL franchise will be the official debut of the field renamed Jacksonville Municipal Stadium (now Everbank Field), where the team will play, which was designed by the Kansas City-based Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum Sports Facilities Group (HOK Sport). The story of the design and construction of this facility may become a football legend of its own.

From the start, Jacksonville's goal was to have a new stadium open in time for their franchise's first home game. However, when the NFL decided to award Jacksonville its thirtieth franchise in the fall of 1993, the date for that first game was less than two years away. This meant that the normal 30-36 month design and construction process had to be compressed into the 20 months that remained. However, this was familiar turf for HOK Sport, the nation's premier sports architecture firm.

"We considered this an opportunity to surpass our own records for producing innovative architecture while meeting an extremely demanding construction schedule," said HOK Sport Principal-in-Charge Ron Labinski. Previous milestones include the firm's Hong Kong Stadium, recipient of a 1995 Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). This 40,000 seat stadium was built in only two years - and was even able to host its first event halfway through construction. The construction schedule for another of the firm's projects, Miami's Joe Robbie Stadium, was equally as ambitious. Unlike Jacksonville, though, schedules on both of these projects permitted detailed development of the design before construction began.

Consolidating the entire design and construction sequence into such a short time frame required close cooperation between the architect, contractor, Jaguars and the City. "The design process for this project was very fluid," noted HOK Sport Project Principal Dennis Wellner. "Design and construction were occurring simultaneously, so each had to react and respond to the other. A strong spirit of cooperation by everyone involved is what kept the project on track."

Complicating the process was the fact that the project was built on the site of the existing Gator Bowl, which was almost completely demolished before construction began. "Building an entirely new stadium on an empty site would have been a much more straightforward process," said Project Manager Jack Boyle. "We had to contend with a major demolition effort, while also preserving a small portion of the existing stadium."

The stadium features 73,000 seats for NFL Football, more than 80,000 seats for the annual Georgia/Florida football game and other special events, 88 Luxury Suites, and more than 10,000 Club Seats. Some of the stadium's best amenities even come in pairs: The stadium includes two Club Lounges, serving the Club Seat patrons along each sideline, and two giant scoreboards, each with video replay capability.

This is one of three major stadium openings that HOK Sport will celebrate this year. Coors Field, a new ballpark in downtown Denver and home to the Colorado Rockies, made its debut in April. October will mark the opening of the St. Louis Domed Stadium, the new home for the NFL Rams, which was designed by HOK Sport in conjunction with its parent organization, St. Louis-based Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum. In store for 1996 are openings for the new 19,000-seat Nashville Arena, and for Charlotte's new NFL stadium, which will be the home of the Carolina Panthers.

HOK Sport specializes in the planning, design and renovation of sports facilities. Since its inception in 1983, the firm has designed more than 250 sports facilities, encompassing every type of sport and level of play. The firm has the unique distinction of having received three Honor Awards for Architecture from the AIA in the past two years, for the Hong Kong Stadium, Cleveland's Jacobs Field, and Baltimore's Oriole Park at Camden Yards. HOK Sport is a part of Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Inc., the nation's largest architectural firm.

EDITOR'S NOTE - Populous Sport Principal-in-Charge Ron Labinski, Project Principal Dennis Wellner, Project Manager Jack Boyle, and Project Designer Paul Griesemer are available for interviews. To schedule, please contact Helen Maib at (816) 221-1576.

Unique Populous Turf System Meets the Challenges
of NFL Football and Jacksonville Weather

JACKSONVILLE - Even though the regular season is only beginning, the field at the new Jacksonville Municipal Stadium has already been through two major tests: Hosting its first game after only five weeks of grow-in time, and hosting its second game after-and even during-torrential rains. It was this second test, which raised the specter of the Florida-Georgia "Mud Bowl" in the old Gator Bowl, that provided the unique turf system with its biggest challenge.

The Jaguar's second pre-season game, against the Denver Broncos, was scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Friday, August 25, 1995. Heavy rains had begun the evening before, and continued until mid-afternoon on the day of the game. When the rains finally subsided, only a few hours remained to paint the field and make final game preparations, and over eight inches of rain had fallen.

As the game began, it quickly became evident that the field was in perfect condition, with no compromises in player footing or safety. Heavy winds and a driving rain in the final two minutes were also of little consequence, and post-game maintenance left little trace that a game had even taken place. All of this occurred without a tarp ever being utilized.

HOK Turf's system is based on a simple concept: The most efficient turf system is one that captures the natural force of gravity. The turf system is designed to remove storm water through a gravity-based system that requires no underground liners, and generally no extensive pump systems to remove excess water. When the field level approaches sea level, however, even gravity needs assistance.

At the Jacksonville stadium, field level was only approximately 4 feet above sea level, which meant that the natural water table was as close as 12 inches from the surface. A deep, gravity-drained lateral sub-drainage system was installed in conjunction with the field laterals to lower this water table to approximately 4 feet below the surface, placing some lines as much as seven feet below sea level. To prevent flooding on the site, this gravity system drains to a large manifold with pumps that force the storm and ground water to an on-site detention system. This is eventually drained to the St. John's River.

The system consists of several layers: The rootzone mix, featuring reed sedge peat blended with sand, was spread in a 12 inch depth directly over a 4-inch layer of gravel. Below this is the sub-drainage system, an automatic irrigation system, and various conduit and wiring for team headsets and TV hook ups. The field surface is Tifnay 419 hybrid bermuda grass, which was grown on a farm in Georgia and placed on the field in roll sod form. The system was also able to utilize local sand and gravel materials.

HOK Sport Turf, a specialized division of HOK Sport, has completed over 70 high-performance sports turf installations for baseball, football and track events. The HOK Sport Turf field at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium is the newest sports turf installation in the National Football League. HOK Sport Turf and HOK Sport are part of Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, the nation's largest architectural firm.

Shane O. Laake writes: Hey, your stadium link for the Jacksonville Bulls USFL team is to the current "Alltel Stadium" (aka Jacksonville Municipal Stadium), which technically is a product of a renovation of the old Gator Bowl, but the only remaining structure is the upper deck of the west stands, which was itself only added in 1982. So, to be accurate, you should link the Bulls to a new page about the old Gator Bowl, with metal bleechers and supports, not the club seat laden Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.

JAGUARS HOPE STADIUM IMPROVEMENTS WILL BUILD FAN EXCITEMENT
September 16, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures

As the newness of having an NFL team in town wears off, the Jacksonville Jaguars have begun sprucing up Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in hopes of bringing new excitement to fans and boosting attendance. The team has added new graphics and colors to the stadium and plan a new 100-seat movie theater where football films will be shown.

More work is anticipated for 2000, although the final plan has not yet been drawn.

GOVERNOR
September 30, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures

The Jacksonville (FL) City Council has decided against offering liquor in its luxury suite at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. The mayor's box, however, will still offer booze. The suite is provided to the city as part of its agreement with the Jaguars. It is divided into two sections; one for the city council and the other for the mayor. Each side holds 18 seats. Catering for the entire suite is paid by the mayor's office.

THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Ranking by USRT
Architecture 6.5
Concessions 8
Scoreboard 6.5
Ushers 3
Fan Support 4
Location 6.5
Banners/History 7
Entertainment 4
Concourses/Fan Comfort 6
Bonus: Tailgate Scene 2
Bonus: Water Taxi 1
Bonus: Bud Zone 1
Bonus: Jacksonville Landing 1
Total Score 56.5
December 5, 2000 - This venue was the beginning of our most extensive journey to date. A five day-five games in three cities stroll through the Southeastern U.S.. We were finally beginning to make a dent in our plans!

Alltel Stadium was opened in August 1995 after a huge renovation was done to the old Gator Bowl that sat on the same site. The top of the upper deck on one side the Gator Bowl was completely demolished, rebuilt and refurbished into the Alltel Stadium as we know it. The primary function of this facility is to serve as the home field for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, however it is also home to such events as the Toyota Gator Bowl and many other college football games such as the annual Georgia/Florida clash, also known  as " The Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party". And coming up in February of 2005, AllTel Stadium will be the host of Super Bowl XXIX.

This facility sits within walking distance of the St. John's River and is a short stroll away from The Riverwalk, a fantastic entertainment area a ways up the river with plenty of places to eat, drink, and be merry. If you have time feel free to catch a riverboat that takes you up and down the river with spectacular views of downtown Jacksonville. Make sure you drop by Jacksonville Landing, where at night the view of the bridges decked out in neon lighting looks absolutely spectacular!

Getting to the Venue
AllTel is set across the St. John's River from downtown Jacksonville and is accessible by mostly by car from Alt US 1. Parking is plentiful but as we found out in our first visit can be rather expensive, sometimes in the 30$ range.  But here in Jacksonville there is a much cheaper transportation alternative in the form of a water taxi that shuttles fans from downtown across the river to a port just a football field or so away from stadium grounds. At four dollars one way this service isn't too shabby and it remains in service for two hours after the game has ended (Though the postgame lines are long and probably the biggest reason for that).

Outside the Venue
The area around AllTel has undergone some significant changes since our last visit here in '99. Gone are the Jacksonville Coliseum and Wolfson Park, two minor league sports venues that were in close proximity to AllTel, and up go the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena and the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. These two state of the art faciltiies do well in complementing AllTel as well as giving the sports complex a more modern look.

Still in place is a Veterans Memorial just north of AllTel, and a ferocious looking jaguar statue greets all visitors as they approach the stadium's main entrance.

The Stadium - Concourses
Plenty of ramps and escalators will take people to their proper concourses at AllTel. Some major points of interest at AllTel- a large mural and exhibit display on the lower concourse  named "Decades of the NFL" which has plenty of photos and writing describing the long and storied history of the NFL through the 20's, 30's,40's all the way on up to today, and it appears that they left the old girders and ceilings of the old Gator Bowl intact to give this area sort of a retro feel. In one end zone is a major party area known as "The Bud Zone". When the place is empty or sparsely populated its very easy to see all of the flat screen TV's, bars, beer kiosks, standing tables, etc. etc. But when a game is in progress, the place is a mob scene. It took us a while, but we were able to make out way through there under some garage doors which open up to the outside and provide a view of  the game(if you can see over six rows of standing people). Just outside the BudZone is an interactive sports television studio where a fan can try his best to be a sports anchor.

Seating Bowl
Aqua/Turqouise colored  seats for 73,000 are in this seating area which is fully enclosed with a second deck overlooking each sideline. A scoreboard with a sizable video board overlooks each end zone. And LED boards that are put to good use....say, in providing out of town scores are located on the balcony of the upper deck on each sideline. In preparation for the Super Bowl AllTel has added some major improvements to the east end zone. There a premium seating area is sandwiched by two plaza levels with a view of the field. The lower one known as the Bud Zone(see above) and an outdoor area above which was a much more relaxing place to hang out and drink with the football game as a backdrop.

Concessions
Lots of good eats here at AllTel! Outback Steakhouse, A1-A Seafood,  Austin BBQ Pit and more, definitely not your ballpark dreck kind of selections to be found here. We should make special mention of the A1--A stand. This is named after the local highway which straddles the beaches of Florida's east coast, and this stands offers the area's seafood specialties - crab legs, conch fritters and grouper sandwiches. Very nicely done! No major team store here but there are four smaller walk-in shops at the four corners of the lower level along with several more kiosks throughout the venue.

Premium Seating
The Touchdown Club is your basic ooh aah (actually, more like....wheee?!?!) club lounge with two levels on each sideline and a beautiful atrium lobby and staircase at the entrances, (Raise index finger and twirl it around now) with carpeted lounges and bar with mixed drinks, nice photos on the walls.....stop me if you've heard this all before.....OK I will. Two levels of suites on each sideline along with the new suites in the south end zone.

Banners/Retired Numbers
None to be seen in the seating bowl. for our return visit, though, the club was celebrating their tenth anniversary season and had a nice pregame ceremony featuring anyone from Tony Boselli down to some schlep who caught two passes and returned a kick as a Jaguar....no, not kidding on that one. Down below in the lower concourse one will find a mural celebrating the club's division titles as part of a larger mural called "Decades of the NFL".

Touchdowns/Extra Points/Fumbles

Extra Point - On our official visit in December of '99 we saw a Thursday prime time special between a fantastic Jaguar team and a so so Steelers club and as expected the Jags rolled to a 20-6 victory. Our return visit was also a primetime special.....in December.....against the.....STEELERS!. Though this time the Steelers were the big stud team and the Jags were struggling. It was a hard fought game, but a Steelerssfield goal in the final seconds sealed a 17-16 win.

Extra Point - Steelernation was in abundance on our return visit, vowing to be back for the Super Bowl. We shall see!

Fumble - And what is up with this "no camera bags allowed inside" policy! We're all for tightened security at sports venues in the age we live in, but women carry handbags in that are much larger. So we do the u-turn, find a discreet location, cram the bag in the pants where the sun don't shine, and proceed to make our way back in to the stadium. Uggghhh! Customer service guys!!! This policy sucks!

Fumble - temps were in the 30's on our first visit, and we were not prepared. This is Florida!!! What the *&*%%$#!!!!!

Extra Point - a bunch of folks in our section on our return visit seem to have their own special chant when the Jags get a first down. They all follow this ringleader who shouts out "What time is it???" and everyone participating responds "Time to move the chains!". Then everyone chants "Move the chains, move the chains, move the chains, move".

Fumble - for the total lack of originality in stealing that chant mentioned above from Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium!

Summary
The score for AllTel Stadium is low for this reason - despite the job they did in reconstituting this venue into an NFL stadium, there is still too much of the old Gator Bowl in play here. Concourses are horrible to navigate, and despite the addition of new scoreboards and that mobbed Bud Zone, it is still just an ordinary stadium. Don't let us dissuade you from visiting here, however. Beautiful city, nice weather, lots to see and do. We'd like to come back --- Jacksonville Suns AA baseball in their sweet little ballpark, or hmm... an NCAA basketball sub regional in March 2006. Sign us up!

JAGUARS SEEK $148 MILLION IN STADIUM UPGRADES
December 4, 2008
Copyright 2008 MediaVentures

Jacksonville, Fla. - The Jaguars want the city to spend $148 million renovating Jacksonville Municipal Stadium - more than it cost to build 15 years ago.

Mayor John Peyton said it's time to start thinking about a slew of recommendations in a 2-year-old Jaguars-commissioned architectural review, which range from repaving the parking lot to replacing seating and upgrading video equipment.

Two days ago he said a slowing economy will prevent the city from finishing the Better Jacksonville growth management plan on time. The stadium came up as he was asked him questions about the city's other infrastructure needs.

"These are 30-year-life-type deals," Peyton said of the stadium. "It's an ongoing city obligation we expect to honor."

Still, he said at this point he's unsure where the money would come from. Routine maintenance, not part of the renovation proposals, is costing the city $1 million to $1.5 million annually.

The Jaguars' report comes from sports architect HOK Sport, which helped design the stadium. It has sat virtually untouched since its February 2007 publishing.

Peyton said he has had informal discussions with Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver about the stadium. He said Weaver has been reasonable about the city's budget concerns but would like to get moving on at least $100 million of the projects.

Peyton said he is certain Weaver is committed to keeping the team in Jacksonville and that attitude isn't being used as leverage to open the city's checkbook.

The stadium cost $140 million to build in the mid-1990s. A subsequent $63 million renovation added a number of amenities including new escalators and the Bud Zone. Peyton said those were inexpensive investments that reaped dividends when the city hosted Super Bowl XXXIX. The Jaguars have made more than $20 million in lease payments since the team's inception, according to city records. That money goes into a fund that helps pay stadium debt.

Keeping the stadium competitive is important as advancements in technology have made it more and more appealing to watch games on high-definition TV at home, said Bill Prescott, the team's financial manager. Nearly two-thirds of the Jaguars' local revenues come from ticket sales. (Florida Times Union)

JAGS LEASE CHANGE WILL BOOST CITY'S SHARE
February 5, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Jacksonville, Fla. - If the Jacksonville Jaguars can find a title sponsor for Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, the way the team and the City share the revenue from that agreement will change.

The City Council approved the ninth amendment to the lease between the team and the City. Under the amendment, the Jaguars and the City will pool all naming rights and signage rights revenues with exceptions to advertising and signage rights granted to other parties under the current stadium lease agreement. Those exceptions include the Florida-Georgia game, the Gator Bowl and the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair.

The new agreement gives the team 75 percent of the revenue generated through a stadium naming rights sponsor and the advertising revenue from that sponsor. The City will get 25 percent.

All commissions, fees and expenses generated by a third party naming rights partner will be split in the same manner.

The previous lease granted the team 100 percent of all advertising revenue while the team and the City split naming rights revenue evenly.

According to Adam Hollingsworth, Mayor John Peyton's chief of staff, the lease agreement "substantially improves the ability of the Jaguar organization to secure even greater revenue for the City through (the) sale of high-profile naming rights." He also said the amendment will ensure the team's "continued viability" in the city.

"The value of the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Jacksonville community and to our economic prosperity cannot be overestimated," said Hollingsworth., adding it is critical for the City to work with the team "to maintain the viability of this exciting but small-market franchise."

Jaguars Senior Vice President, Stadium Operations and CFO Bill Prescott recently said the team would like to have a stadium naming rights sponsor by the time the 2009-10 season starts.

Given the current economic climate in the United States and abroad, Prescott said it will take some time and work to find a company willing to put their name on the stadium. He said once companies post midyear fiscal reports, many will have a better grasp on their ability to sign a long-term naming rights deal. (Jacksonville Daily Record)

JACKSONVILLE CONVENTION CENTER COULD LOSE FUNDS TO STADIUM
October 1, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Jacksonville, Fla. - Jacksonville's City Council president will ask his colleagues to approve the moving of hotel tax money now being used for the Prime Osborn Convention Center to pay for maintenance of three major sports venues, including Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, home of the NFL Jaguars.

With convention center debt scheduled to be paid off in October, Richard Clark will propose that the money going to the Prime Osborn instead go to the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, Veterans Memorial Arena and the stadium.

The proposal comes at a time when the Jaguars are making national news for facing the prospect of having every home game blacked out due to poor attendance. The team's viability in one of the NFL's smallest markets is also being questioned.

Even the Jaguars themselves say major changes could be in the works. Team officials say they could play some of their games in Orlando if the league decides to extend the season to 18 games. In 2007, the Jaguars identified $148 million in work that would be needed over the next 30 years - including replacing all of the stadium's seats and upgrading sound equipment from analog to digital. Every Jacksonville hotel bill generates six cents on the dollar for three funds: two cents go to the Sports Complex; two cents go to the Tourist Development Council; and the rest goes to the convention center.

Mayor John Peyton said Clark's proposal would allow the city to keep its commitment to "maintain a world-class facility." The proposal would be introduced to the full council in October.

STADIUM REVENUE DOESN'T COVER COSTS IN JACKSONVILLE
October 15, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Jacksonville, Fla. - Revenues from tickets, parking and rent at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville are not covering costs as the city anticipated when it opened the venue for the NFL Jaguars in 1995.

By the end of the 2007-08 budget year, the fund set up to pay stadium expenses was more than a million dollars in the red, and another $8 million-plus was needed to cover basic operating costs and debt service.

Today, even with a ballooning rent payment from the team kicking in, taxpayers' skin in the game is nearly triple what it was in 1996.

Since the Jaguars arrived, the city has sunk about $74 million into stadium costs - a subsidy that has tapped general fund dollars needed to pay for everything from maintaining parks and fixing roads to keeping police on patrol.

As Mayor John Peyton put it: "This is the price tag for having the NFL in Jacksonville." The price may get even steeper. To help get needed stadium maintenance done, city officials are eyeing another revenue stream.

The plan calls for taking $5 million in bed tax revenue that will be freed up now that the Prime Osborn Convention Center is paid off - and directing those dollars to the football stadium, Veterans Memorial Arena and the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

At 1.5 million square-feet, the stadium is by far the biggest. It's also eight years older than the other facilities, so it stands to get the bulk of the tourist money.

The dollars would go for routine maintenance, which the city is contractually obligated to pay for. A 2007 study commissioned by the Jaguars shows a $148 million need over the next 30 years - from replacing every seat in the approximately 75,000-seat stadium to upgrading the sound system from analog to digital.

Other needs, less noticeable to the average fan, include waterproofing the cement, replacing air conditioning units and replacing the hoods on concession stands.

The bed tax plan, sponsored by City Council President Richard Clark, is expected to be introduced to the full council soon. The move comes while the team is anticipating television blackouts for every home game and team owner Wayne Weaver is floating the idea of playing games in Orlando if the NFL expands its schedule.

If the city only needed to raise enough revenues to cover the stadium's operating costs, no subsidy would be needed.

The city gets about $14 million a year in revenue - including a cut of ticket sales and parking costs. Those shares are adjusted annually for inflation.

Included in that $14 million is rent from the team and the $5 million in bed tax revenue already committed to the stadium.

All of those sources cover game-day and other expenses.

The wrinkle is debt service.

From the start, the city pledged money from the bed tax and Jaguars rent to pay off the bonds sold to build the stadium for $140 million in the mid-1990s.

The amount leveraged increased before the 2005 Super Bowl and the city fronted the Jaguars' $28 million share - which the team is now paying back as part of rent payments.

The debt is paying for luxury suites and meeting areas, along with two popular fan gathering spots - Pepsi Plaza and Bud Zone. Each venture helps bring in money for the team, said Bill Prescott, chief financial officer and vice president of stadium operations for the Jaguars.

Those features, along with Jumbotron video screens replaced in 2004, help the city in keeping the annual Florida-Georgia game and the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl. They also make the city competitive in pursuit of other events, including World Cup soccer the city is trying to lure in 2018, Peyton said.

The team knows the debt payments are on a schedule through the end of the lease in 2029 and understands the city's own financial issues, so the Jaguars will not be asking for rent deferment or a reduction anytime soon, Prescott said.

Eighty percent of the team's local revenue comes from ticket sales, so when those numbers are down, it influences how the team pays for everything, Prescott said.

JAGUARS TO GET ALL FUNDS FROM NAMING RIGHTS DEAL
July 29, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Jacksonville, Fla. - The City of Jacksonville has agreed to give up its 25 percent share of a five-year, $16.6 million naming rights deal between the Jaguars and Everbank, according to the Florida Times-Union. The Jacksonville Municipal Stadium will now be known as Everbank Field.

If the city had insisted on the 75-25 split it had negotiated last year with the Jaguars,$4 million would have been deposited into the Sports Complex Trust Fund, which pays for maintenance and upgrades to the stadium, arena, baseball park and equestrian center, the newspaper said.

The deal must be approved by the City Council. The Times-Union said a bill is expected to be finalized before the Jaguars' first home preseason game on Aug. 21 so the venue's name can be changed. The stadium's address will also be changed to One EverBank Field Drive.

Although the council approved the sharing deal last year, several members told the newspaper they were inclined to waive the city's cut in an effort to improve the Jaguars' long-term viability in the city.

Macky Weaver, the Jaguars' senior vice president for sales and marketing, told the Times- Union discussions with EverBank started more than two years ago but picked up as the company began to expand its reach even during the economic downturn.

EverBank recently acquired the banking operations of Bank of Florida Corp., a chain with 12 retail branches in South Florida. As other financial institutions crumbled during the economic crisis, EverBank reported earnings of $31.3 million in the first quarter of this year and never took any bailout funds, the newspaper said.

The Jaguars' widely reported struggles as a small-market team in the NFL took the discussions in a new direction and led to a request that the team keep all the naming rights revenue, Weaver said.

The Jaguars have been trying to find a new name for the stadium since its 10-year, $6.2 million deal with Alltel Corp. expired in 2007. Many companies expressed interest but the deals fell through for various reasons, Weaver said.

EverBank is a privately owned company looking to increase its national profile, its chairman and chief executive Rob Clements told the newspaper.

Clements and the team said they hoped the agreement will be renewed after the initial five-year term expires.

The bank would pay the team $3 million for its first year, with payment increasing slightly each year up to $3.65 million in 2014. Any regular-season blackouts would reduce that cost by $100,000 per game, and if the team plays a game in Orlando, the bank's fees would be cut by $250,000 for that season.

JAGUARS GET MORE CONCESSIONS FROM CITY
August 5, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Jacksonville, Fla. - The City Council is considering a bill that would use city money to reimburse the Jacksonville Jaguars for money they spend for stadium improvements, according to the Florida Times-Union.

"It would allow the football team in March or April to say it does not make sense to have [an item in the budget] in November, because half the season would be gone," Paul Harden, a lobbyist for the team, told the newspaper.

The team could say, "We are going to advance fund this one item and be paid back," he said.

The money involved comes from the Convention Development Tax, which is used for maintenance and upkeep of the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, Veterans Memorial Arena and the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, the newspaper reported.

Mayor John Peyton's proposed 2010-2011 budget includes $3 million from the fund for the stadium, $400,000 for the ballpark and $500,000 for the arena, according to an Auditor's Office memo.

The city has also given its $4 million cut from a recent naming rights deal with Everbank for what will likely become EverBank Field to the team, the newspaper said.

The bill got a unanimous votes from the Rules Committee and the from members of the Recreation and Community Development Committee. It will go before the City Council next week.

August 12, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

The Jacksonville, Fla., City Council approved the naming rights agreement and will let the Jaguars keep 100 percent of the $16.6 million the bank will pay to put its name on the city-owned stadium, according to the Florida Times Union. The council voted 14-3 to forgo its 25 percent share of the EverBank money, or about $4 million over five years.

JACKSONVILLE BUYING $43,000 IN SEASON TICKETS FROM JAGUARS
August 26, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Jacksonville, Fla. - The City of Jacksonville will buy $43,000 in season tickets from the Jaguars for the upcoming NFL season, according to the Florida Times-Union. Most of the tickets will go to charities chosen by Mayor John Peyton and city council members.

Peyton helped convene a group of business leaders last year when poor attendance made Jacksonville the national poster child for empty seats and television blackouts. That group has help create Team Teal, led by former Jaguar star Tony Boselli, to sell season tickets and build excitement around the team, the newspaper said.

A New York Times article last fall coined Peyton "cheerleader in chief" and the city kicked in $150,000 to help throw "the ultimate tealgate party" for a December game against Indianapolis. A ticket drive for that matchup made it the only game shown all year on local television.

Peyton visited the Jaguars' practice this month to promote season ticket sales and the team recently announced it was about 3,000 short of eliminating blackouts for the season.

The city owns the stadium, now called EverBank Field, and its agreement with the team gives it access to a suite. Last year, council President Richard Clark led the charge to stop buying the tickets in an effort to cut the city budget.

Clark said now that he is more familiar with the Jaguars operations and given the civic push to sell season tickets, he supports buying tickets if they are used for charity or attracting business.

March 29, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

The Jacksonville Jaguars will be involved in the selection of a facilities manager that would oversee Everbank Field as well as the city's other entertainment venues. A letter sent to the mayor reminded the city that the team's lease says it and the city will "mutually select" a management company. Responses to the request for proposals are due in mid-April. The contract to manage the various venues has been held by SMG for more than a decade.

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