By: James Johnson
Since day one of billionaire Shad Khan becoming the Jaguars owner, he’s stressed the will to make the Jaguars a Super Bowl contender and a world-class organization. He searched far and wide for a general manager to take care of business on the field and as for making the Jaguars a world-class organization, Khan has kept his word in the aspect. We all know the investments that he’s had his part in ranging from funding the team with a $3 million dollar locker room, and he’s currently in phase two (roughly a $5.9 million investment) in building new offices for the coaching staff along with new weight, training, x-ray rooms (all to EverBank Field) just to name a few. But nothing beats the next deal he worked out with the city in his quest to make the Jaguars a world class organization.
We all speculated yesterday that the surprise press conference was about the new “revolutionary” scoreboards Khan had in the works for EverBank. Well, we got the scoreboards, but the team also announced that the they’d be collaborating with the city for renovations that total up to be an $63 million investment along with the scoreboards.
According to Jaguars.com these renovations include.
- The scoreboards in each end zone of course which the organization said will be the “biggest and best in the world”. The measurements for these scoreboards will be 55 by 301, and yes that means the city of Jacksonville will house the biggest video boards in the world! (Side note: I’m currently in talks with Khan to rent it out and play a game of Madden on there. Can you say the worlds biggest Madden set-up?)
- Upgrades to the stadiums overall video capabilities.
- New sideline boards which will measure out to be 3.6 by 579 feet.
- Two new 3.6 by 106 feet display screens in the Bud Party Zone and above the Terrace Suits in the south end zone.
- Two new 6 by 22 feet tunnel displays.
- A new state-of-the-art video control room.
- And Lastly, the part that the fans are most excited about a new cabana-like setup in the north end zone with pools, unique food and beverages. The area will house what the organization described as “interactive activities and much more than will entertain and serve guests in a fashion that celebrates the vibe and spirit of life in Jacksonville”. Most importantly this will require the removal of 7,000 seats, aka the dreaded “tarps” in end zones will be removed by this setup.
Now don’t get me wrong that’s nice and all, but I believe the most important part of these upgrade is what it says to the national media, and that’s that this team isn’t going anywhere. Khan has continually expressed that the teams home is here in Jacksonville, and that the deal to play in London is a part of his plan to make the least popular team in America a global brand. As he put it best, “actions speak louder than words” and an investment of $63 million dollars (plus the other facility upgrades he’s invested in) certainly shows his commitment and the cities commitment in my book. I understand that $63 million is just chump change for a billionaire like Khan, but at the same time you don’t become a billionaire by throwing money away to a place your not committed to.
As for the financial details the Jags will fund 75% of the $26.5 million for the scoreboards. The city of Jacksonville will take care of the of the other 25%. As for the new cabana area the city will fund roughly $36.4 million for that, and the scoreboard control rooms. If extra funding is needed due to a miscalculation the Jags openly said they will take care of the tab. If there is any extra funds left for the project then the remainder of the money will be giving to the Jags to use on any other stadium upgrades. Thanks to Khan and mayor Alvin Brown the team has made a statement to the national media, but we’d be naïve to think the talks of the team moving will stop. It’s just the way things go in terms of the national media’s perception on the team and city, but at the end of the day we know the truth. As usual we’ll deal with the scrutiny and when it’s all said in done 20 years later I feel that this team will still be here. Duval till we die, and go Jags!
For more details, the press conference video, and Shad Khan’s interview afterwards here’s a link via Jaguars.com .