A city committee voted to change providers to manage Everbank Field and several other Jacksonville venues, which could set the stage for a showdown with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
By a 3-0 vote, Global Spectrum Management was recommended as the preferred operator for the stadium, Veterans Memorial Arena, Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville and Prime Osborn Convention Center. SMG, which has operated the facilities for the past 20 years, had no support from members of the Public Services Evaluation Committee.
A potential problem is that the Jaguars have to agree on a stadium manager, and the Jags have said in the past they support SMG.
The committee's recommendation is non-binding. Mayor Alvin Brown will make the final choice.
"We are going work to communicate, we had conversations almost immediately today. We're looking forward to collaboration with the Jags," said Brown's spokesman, David DeCamp.
The Jaguars released a statement Wednesday night saying: "We respect the city's right in the process of selecting a stadium manager. As stated in the RFP (request for proposals), unless the city and the Jaguars agree, the process has failed with regard to EverBank Field. We will await the mayor's final decision," said Jaguars Senior Vice President of Communications Dan Edwards.
The city said it feels that it can work with the Jaguars and keep both parties happy when making the decision.
"That we come to a solution that is acceptable to both sides and that will play into how the mayor decides whether to accept or reject this panel's recommendation," said DeCamp.