The Jacksonville Jaguars have gone public with their demands for stadium funding — even proposing relocation if $1 billion in taxpayer money is not secured.
“Do you want to keep the NFL in Jacksonville?” That was the response from Jaguars president Mark Lamping at the AXS DRIVE conference when asked about a theoretical vote from Jacksonville residents on approving the team’s desired deal.
In June, the Jaguars released renderings of their “Stadium of the Future” — a large-scale revamp of the publicly owned TIAA Bank Stadium that would include a stadium canopy to beat the Florida heat. The project could surpass $2 billion in total costs, and the team is seeking a 50-50 split with the city.
Lamping was adamant that the Jaguars need a better stadium to compete with the average NFL team. Jacksonville’s population ranks 11th among U.S. cites, but the city is 41st in media market size.
A move would be a drastic step for the Jaguars, who just opened a $120 million practice facility next to their stadium. But Lamping’s comments still present concerns for the future. “If Jacksonville loses an NFL team, they’re never going to get another one,” he said.
In The Meantime …
Should the Jaguars move forward with stadium renovations, the team would likely need to find a temporary home for one or several seasons. One idea had the team playing at the iconic Daytona International Speedway, about 90 miles from their current home. Another saw the University of Florida offer up The Swamp for Jaguars home games.
Another, albeit extreme, option: The NFL could test out the London market even further and send the Jaguars across the pond for an entire season. This year, the Jaguars are playing two consecutive games in London, a first for any NFL team.