Drafts of stadium agreements provide details of construction, community benefits

Council awaits delivery of a new lease and six other deals involved in the project with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

  • By Ric Anderson
  • | 12:34 p.m. May 23, 2024
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
The Jacksonville Jaguars "Stadium of the Future" is shown in this rendering released May 14.
The Jacksonville Jaguars "Stadium of the Future" is shown in this rendering released May 14.
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As the city of Jacksonville prepares to deliver the formal agreements that make up the proposed stadium deal between the city and the Jacksonville Jaguars to build the team’s “Stadium of the Future,” draft copies of two of the agreements offer details of the project’s construction and an attached set of community benefits.

In response to a records request from the Daily Record on May 23, the city released drafts of a stadium development agreement and community benefits agreement related to the $1.4 billion stadium project. 

The draft copies formalize several details that have been outlined by Mayor Donna Deegan, lead city negotiator Mike Weinstein and Jaguars President Mark Lamping in presentations to the City Council in a series of community meetings on the project.

The development agreement sets the city’s contribution to the project at $775 million, including $625 million for the stadium’s construction and $150 million in maintenance obligations for  EverBank Stadium. The $150 million will go toward preparing the stadium to be transformed into the new venue and to allow the Jaguars to continue playing at EverBank while the project is underway. 

The deal calls for the Jaguars to provide a matching $625 contribution for construction.

An aerial rendering of the Jacksonville Jaguars Stadium of the Future at the site of its current facility Downtown along the St. Johns River.

A project program statement attached to the agreement outlines the work to be done, including replacing the stadium’s grass field with artificial turf and installing a cable-supported polymer cover on the roof to shade seating areas from direct sunlight and rain. In addition, the corners of the stadium’s 200 level will be opened to provide airflow. 

Landscaped exterior plazas will reduce the heat island effect around the stadium while also improving water runoff, the statement says. 

The 1.8 million-square-foot stadium will seat 61,280 spectators with expansion capability to 70,100 and will feature wider concourses, expanded food and beverage options, new locker rooms and new restrooms, including family restrooms and rooms for nursing mothers. 

Among other terms in the development agreement, construction is to be substantially completed by the 2028-29 season and the Jaguars will pay for cost overruns unless the overruns are caused by the city. Contractors on the city’s Jacksonville Small & Emerging Business list of companies would provide up to 20% of the materials and services for construction. 

The document sent to the Daily Record includes spaces for several attachments that are listed as “to be provided,” such as the master project schedule and the project budget. 

Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan, Jaguars President Mark Lamping and city lead negotiator Mike Weinstein met with citizens May 15 at Mandarin High School to discuss plans for the Stadium of the Future renovation of EverBank Stadium.
Photo by Ric Anderson

The development agreement covers such topics as selection of the architect and construction manager, public infrastructure improvements around the stadium, permitting and insurance requirements, responsibilities of each party and mechanisms to resolve disputes.

The community benefits agreement calls for the city and team to each provide $150 million to be used mostly for workforce development and to address affordable housing and homelessness. Part of the funding would be designated for the Eastside neighborhood near the stadium, and part would be used countywide. 

The agreement also provides $1 million for each of the 14 Council districts and funding for development of parks. 

Both agreements will require Council approval to be adopted. The finalized agreements had yet to be delivered to Council as of May 23.

Council President Ron Salem has blocked out times on Wednesdays through Fridays in June for Council meetings to examine the documents. He said he would prioritize approvals of the six agreements related to the stadium’s construction before considering the community benefits agreement, reasoning there would be no community benefits deal without a stadium.



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