JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- "As goes downtown Jacksonville, so goes the Jacksonville Jaguars, we are one."
That's the sentiment shared by Jaguars owner Shad Khan at Wednesday's "State of the Franchise" event held at EverBank Field.
While the team's football leadership has had a major makeover in the last few months, with new Executive Vice-President for Football Operations Tom Coughlin and new head coach Doug Marrone, perhaps the changes to their off-the-field presence in the community will have an even bigger impact.
"Off the field, the Jacksonville Jaguars are as dynamic as any franchise in the NFL." Khan said.
Daily's Place, the new amphitheater and flex-field project rising just outside the South End Zone of EverBank, is perhaps the team's most obvious statement to date. The 5,000+ seat venue is slated to open Memorial Day weekend with three big concerts. Lamping says they hope to host 35 concerts there before the end of the year.
"Daily's Place should not be the end game. It will never be mission accomplished in Jacksonville." Khan said.
The Jaguars also unveiled an ambitious plan to redevelop the north bank of the riverfront from Metro Park through the Shipyards property, including relocating the park to the west to what is now the abandoned Shipyards and building a hotel, spa, residences, mixed use (shopping/offices/entertainment district) and an exhibition space in the current Metro Park space. The Jaguars plan would also create a new elevated park, similar to the "High Line" in New York City.
The Shipyards plan is part of the Jaguars efforts to increase local revenue, where Lamping said the team ranks 25 of 32 teams in the NFL in local revenue.
"On the business side, its all about local revenue. They seem different, but they are very complimentary." Lamping said.
Teams in the top half of local revenue are 50% more likely to go to the playoffs, Lamping said.
Lamping said the team averaged just over 60,000 tickets sold last year but the team needs to increase the average ticket price in the stadium to increase revenue to make the team more competitive. EverBank Field is configured for about 64,000 seats for Jaguars games.
Lamping also cited the annual game in London, which generates more than 50% more revenue for the team than an average home game in Jacksonville, as key to the team's financial success.
"It (London) can provide a real boost from a financial perspective." Lamping said.
Khan cited Daily's Place, stadium improvements, and the Shipyards plan about what makes the Jaguars situation different from cities like San Diego and St. Louis, who lost their NFL teams to Los Angeles in the past year.
Khan did talk about football as well, saying he was unhappy with the team's performance
"I do want to be clear and I remain extremely unsatisfied about our performance of last year....that's why you see Tom Coughlin here and why Doug Marrone is our head coach." Khan said.
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