As reported yesterday, the Jacksonville Jaguars and local Jacksonville bank EverBank finalized a deal at 1:22 AM this morning agreeing to a five year naming rights deal.
Old Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, which has been the default name of the place since the deal with Alltel expired in 2006, will now be called EverBank Field. The agreement is a five year deal with financial terms undisclosed, officially.According to Tia Mitchell of the Florida Times-Union, the deal reportedly will begin at $3 million for the initial year and will gradually increase to wind up being $3.5 million in the fifth year. The initial reported split between the team and the city of Jacksonville was believed to be a 75/25 split, but there are reports that the city with forego it's 25% cut, which would have gone to the stadium fund and will now go directly to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
To start the press conference, Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver made it a point to make it known the Jacksonville Jaguars were just that, Jacksonville. Weaver consistently referenced a New York Times article that made mention the only question for the Jacksonville Jaguars was if they'd remain in Jacksonville.
"I clearly think it's a game-changer," Wayne Weaver said about the naming rights deal. Coupled with the Jaguars practice facilities being sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield, both deals should give the Jaguars an influx of cash they haven't had the past few seasons. The deal will make EverBank the official bank of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the five year agreement. The agreement also includes promotions within game telecasts, signage in the stadium, and ATMs in the venue for use by the fans.
EverBank chairman and CEO Rob Clements made it clear that his company is firmly rooted in the community and the Jaguars staying in Jacksonville, "It’s our belief that this partnership will continue. It reflects our strong conviction in this team and in this city. We are major stakeholders in this city and we believe we’re going to have a long-term relationship with the team."
City Council President Jack Webb spoke on behalf of Mayor Payton and reiterated the city's commitment to the team saying, "This naming rights deal helps solidify a place for the Jaguars forever in Jacksonville. Anything that benefits the Jaguars ultimately benefits the city and everybody who lives here."
It likely won't squash the Jaguars to Los Angeles, London, whatever talks permanently, but it's obvious Wayne Weaver remains vigilant in his mission to keep the Jaguars in Jacksonville and show a re-commitment to this community. He clearly sent a message today that the Jaguars are here to stay, as long as he has the say.