JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The initial lease between the city of Jacksonville and the Jaguars was signed Sept. 7, 1993, has been amended 10 times since then and is still very solid, according to the city's representation.
Cindy Laquidara, the city's top attorney, calls it a sound agreement.
"This is a tight agreement, very tight. It is a long-term lease to both of our advantages," said Laquidara.
The lease expires in 2029 and covers everything from the banners on the side of the stadium to the amount of rent the NFL franchise pays the city.
"We're very comfortable that the change in ownership is just a change of the person sitting at the table," she said.
Laquidara declined to discuss specific conditions of the long-term agreement, but on page 13 under continuing obligation it clearly states a condition for a sale:
"The owner shall not sell the NFL franchise to another person which has the present intent to relocate, transfer or otherwise move the franchise to another city during the lease term "
"The Jags will be here. the NFL franchise will be here," said Laquidara.
But if the owner breaks the lease, there are penalties spelled out this document. The owner would have to pay:
- Base rent
- Ticket surcharge revenues, $750,000 a year
- City parking revenues, $200,000 a year
- Revenues relating to the stadium name, $250,000 a year
- Supplemental rent and all future payments until the end of the lease.
An attorney who helped negotiate the lease said the owner would have to pay the city more than $90 million to move the Jags.
Laquidara said since there are no violations in the lease, she will not discuss the specifics of penalties.
"I am certainly not going to discuss specifics of how we interpret penalty provision on any lease, never mind one that is complex, because they are fact oriented," she said.
However, in the lease agreement on page 14, there's another way the NFL franchise can get out of the lease without facing heavy penalty.
If it suffers a financial loss one year then once again in one of the two ensuing years, the franchise may be able to walk.
In 2013, there will be new minimum spending requirement per team that could impact every team's bottom line.
Teams like the Jaguars won't be able to stockpile $32.9 million in salary cap and NBC Sports reports, when that happens, there will be more incentive than ever to move NFL teams to where the money is.
First Coast News