Jaguars president says its more likely city could host the NFL Draft.
Jacksonville Jaguars President Mark Lamping thinks the city could host another Super Bowl, but no time soon.
“Could we host the Super Bowl at some point in the future? There’s no question. But I think it would follow a sort of re-imagining Downtown,” Lamping said in response to a question last week at the Meninak Club of Jacksonville.
It’s more likely that Jacksonville could host a smaller yet fan-friendly event – the NFL Draft.
On Thursday, Lamping told reporters the Jaguars filed an expression of interest with the National Football League to host a draft between 2019-23, citing the additions of the Daily’s Place amphitheater and the new indoor practice field.
The Florida Times-Union reported Friday that other franchises also want to host the draft. Lamping said submitting a bid was a next step.
Lamping said Daily’s Place could hold 6,000 fans, the indoor field could hold 10,000 and the EverBank Field playing surface could hold 15,000.
The three-day draft attracted up to 225,000 fans in Chicago in 2016 and 250,000 in Philadelphia this year, he said.
Jacksonville hosted Super Bowl XXXIX on Feb. 6, 2005, but had to bring in cruise ships to satisfy the requirements for hotel rooms.
The 966-room Adam’s Mark Hotel opened in 2001 in time to satisfy the requirement as the NFL Super Bowl headquarters hotel. It now is the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront.
An estimated 130,000 people visited Jacksonville, which was criticized for lacking the accommodations and entertainment of major Super Bowl cities.
Miami and New Orleans have hosted the Super Bowl 10 times each. The next four are slated for Minneapolis, Atlanta, Miami Gardens and Inglewood, California.
Lamping said as of now, Jacksonville would not qualify as a Super Bowl host community.
“We don’t have enough hotel rooms and we do not have enough exposition space. There are minimum requirements. We don’t meet the minimum requirements,” he said.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan wants to add a hotel, possibly a Four Seasons, as he redevelops the Shipyards property along the Downtown riverfront near EverBank Field. Khan bought the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto almost a year ago.
Lamping said Khan wants to add a hotel of 175 to 225 rooms and maybe 40-50 condos.
“Adding one hotel is not going to do it,” he said. “That’s a small dent. We’re thousands and thousands of hotel rooms short,” he said.
ESPN reported in 2014 that host cities typically are required to have 25,000 hotel rooms within an hour’s drive of the stadium.
The Jaguars application for the NFL Draft includes 5,575 hotel rooms, according to the Times-Union.
Lamping said the city could “get there,” but it will take time and a lot of work.
“Hosting a Super Bowl is really, really expensive,” he said.
Lamping helped lead the successful bid to host the 2014 Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the first Super Bowl played in an open-air stadium in a cold weather city. The stadium is home to the NFL’s New York Jets and New York Giants.
He was president and CEO of the New Meadowlands Stadium Co. LLC, which developed the stadium, from 2008 until he joined the Jaguars in February 2012.
“We had to raise $70 million. Imagine raising $70 million in this market. That would take dollars away from a lot of other places,” he said.
Sportingnews.com reported that the NFL issued a 153-page list of requirements for Minneapolis to host the 2018 Super Bowl.
The site reported demands included 35,000 free parking spaces, use of presidential suites at the city’s finest hotels at no cost and two bowling venues for NFL celebrity bowling events.