The Jacksonville Jaguars are looking to improve EverBank Field, in part to make the NFL game day experience better, but to also make it a potential home to events outside of Jacksonville. The biggest hurdle in the idea is that it's going to cost a projected $50 million to build, which the city would likely be expected to fund the majority.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan has already come out of pocket to improve things like the locker room, creating a state of the art facility that cost around $3 million to update. Khan is also coming out of pocket in another $4 million in upgrades to the facility this offseason, improving things in the stadium that haven't been upgraded since it was re-built in the 1990's.
A new bill proposed by Senator Rob Bradley would help in the funding of EverBank Field by putting $2 million a year for 30 years into a fund that would be used for facility upgrades. The "Professional Sports Franchise Facilities" bill would funded by sales tax generated at the stadium during events.
"We often continue to hear rumors for possible moves," Sen. Bradley told First Coast News. "I would like to put that to an end for all time."
The Jaguars front office has acknowledged in the past it's more challenging than ever to get fans to physically come to the games, because of the fact that HD television and big screen TV's are more readily available now than ever.
"The Jaguars are encouraged that our First Coast legislative delegation agrees that we cannot risk Jacksonville being bypassed in favor of markets and venues with distinct competitive advantages," Jaguars team president Mark Lamping, who's obviously in favor of the bill, told First Coast News.
Note: I realize this is going to potentially spark some political discussion, but let's please stick to the topic on it.