A few moments ago Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com put up an entry about the Jacksonville Jaguars and the current EverBank Field naming rights deal, which is being delayed with the City's Financial Committee.
Florio takes a few shots, but it's pretty obvious he didn't take the time to actually research the situation.
Instead, the Jags negotiated their deal with knowledge of the 75-25 sharing commitment, and without any apparent effort to revise the deal before striking it. Now, the Jaguars seem to hope that the positive buzz the franchise itself helped generate in the wake of the transaction can be used to bully Jacksonville into giving up more than $4 million that can be used to fund City operations, including law enforcement and other services.
Some simple research could have solved this gaff by Florio, which now just looks like a cheap shot at the Jaguars, it's fans, and Tony Boselli. Boselli is someone Florio seems to take shots at on a regular basis.
So, basically, the Jaguars are trying to turn Jacksonville residents against Jacksonville itself, all in the hopes of cramming into the team's coffers another $830,000 per year, a small fraction of the franchise's total annual revenue.
If the Jaguars had handled this issue the right way, seeking a new deal with the City before striking the much-publicized arrangement with EverBank or factoring the City's cut into the asking price, we'd support the move. As it stands, we think the Jaguars are trying to pull a fast one, and Boselli's effort to persuade the members of "Team Teal" to pressure Council members into giving up money that rightfully belongs to the taxpayers is the kind of behavior that no city should expect from one of its sports franchises.
Actually, the Mayor of Jacksonville was involved with the process the entire time. Not to mention that the 25% cut that the city was willing to give up would be impossible to use for things like City operations, law enforcement, etc.
Why would it be impossible?
Well, some simple research would show you why:
The city has agreed to forgo a 25 percent share of the city-owned stadium’s naming rights revenue as part of a five-year, $16.6 million deal with Jacksonville-based EverBank, announced Tuesday.
If the city had insisted on the 75-25 split it had negotiated last year with the Jaguars, that $4 million would have been deposited into the Sports Complex Trust Fund, which pays for maintenance and upgrades to the stadium, arena, baseball park and equestrian center.
As you can see, in the article by Tia Mitchell of the Florida-Times Union, the City wouldn't have been able to use any of that money in the general fund regardless.
Also included in the article, from Misty Skipper who spoke on behalf of Mayor John Peyton:
Though the city has its own financial problems, including a budget gap the mayor has asked be closed by a 9 percent property tax rate increase, Skipper said the Jaguars deal won’t hurt or helps that cause.
"We were not currently receiving any revenue, and anything we have received would not have assisted with the general fund deficit anyway," Skipper said.
So, there you have it.