JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars president Mark Lamping told the Florida Times-Union that TIAA Bank Field is in needs of major repairs before NFL owners would approve a lease extension for the team.
In front of the city council, Lamping said the renovations are one part of what is called “Project Lifetime." The project's goal is to keep the Jaguars in Jacksonville as long as possible.
Lamping also said the team and the city are not the only stakeholders. Promoters that bring in events like the Rolling Stones or the U.S. Women’s National Team are considered stakeholders, as well as the fans.
“We need to make sure all of those parties are satisfied with what that stadium will look like in the future,” Lamping said.
Lamping said NFL owners will not approve a lease extension for TIAA Bank Field as it stands now.
“Asking for a lease extension right now, we would get the answer none of us want,” Lamping told First Coast News.
When asked why do Lot J first before the stadium upgrades, Lamping said the team discussed what they need to get ahead of before finding themselves in situations other cities did.
“If we get out four or five years and we have a stadium solution, but we don’t have an answer to what’s happening downtown, because you can’t do those projects overnight, you’re squarely looking at an end of the lease with the Jaguars that may have an answer on the stadium but not on the viability and attractiveness of downtown Jacksonville,” Lamping said.
Lamping said the Project Lifetime team is made up of the Jaguars, the City of Jacksonville, ASM Global and the Haskell Company, an engineering firm in Jacksonville.
Lamping said it would take two-and-a-half years before the team decides what the stadium will look like. In three to five years, he said they will have a realistic estimate of how much it will cost and how to pay for it.
A major renovation would cost somewhere between $400 to $500 million.
Alan Verlander, CEO of AirStream Ventures, has worked for the city and with the Jaguars in the past. He said the team is likely taking notes from other NFL cities.
“It’s hot here. There’s a lot of things you need to do with fan amenities," Verlander said. "You see what’s been done in Miami. It's transformed that entire stadium, and now it's one of the better stadiums people go to."
“Having been in meetings, a cover is an important piece of this puzzle, and it's not a cheap endeavor, and so I think it’s where are the things that can build revenue and make a fans experience better,” Verlander added.
The stadium’s structural integrity is safe. Lamping said it will not pose a public health hazard in the future.
Lamping said the city would be in better position to negotiate a stadium lease once other projects around it are completed.
“The City of Jacksonville will have significantly more leverage on Shad Khan on stadium negotiations once Shad has invested another $600 million in downtown Jacksonville,” Lamping said.
The current lease agreement expires in 2030.
Lamping says he estimates in three to five years is when they could get a stadium plan on the table.