City Council approves spending $43M for scoreboards

By Jim Piggott, General assignment reporter, jpiggott@wjxt.com
Steve Patrick, Managing editor of digital content, spatrick@news4jax.com
Published On: Nov 12 2013 10:21:47 AM EST
Updated On: Nov 12 2013 08:40:00 PM EST

VIDEO: City Council voted once in favor of a new scoreboard for EverBank Field and will vote again in Tuesday nights meeting.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

City Council voted 14 -2 on Tuesday night to commit $43 million of bed-tax revenue to fund upgrades to EverBank Field that would include making the north end zone scoreboard the largest of any football stadium in the world.

Councilman Stephen Joost, who asked what's to keep the team from leaving the Jaguars from leaving EverBank Field before the 15 years it will take to pay off the scoreboard, cast one of the dissenting votes.

"How do you explain to fire and police that you're cutting their benefits that we don't have enough money for those for like $43 million for stadium. How do you come up with $43 million and not have one assurance that they're not going to move the team," Joost said.

Mayor Alvin Brown says the money will come from existing revenue and will have no affect on the city's budget. The money would come from a 2 percent charge on hotel guests that has been set aside for the stadium.

"Part of the strategy is, just like anything else you want to make the investment for upgrades, that you maintain your stadium so you won't let it collapse," Brown said when asked if using this bed-tax money would not be available for maintenance. "That is one of the key things that we have to focus on."

Jaguars owner Shad Khan has pledged $20 million of his own money to fund the remainder of the $63 million project that will put up new scoreboards in each end zone, build new scoreboard control room, and a new platform with a water feature in the north end zone where fans can buy food and drinks.

The north end zone video scoreboard will be 52 feet high and 348 feet wide.

"A world-class kind of attraction, it will draw economic power to Jacksonville," Khan said last week.

Construction is set to begin in January and finish in July -- in time for the 2014 Jaguars season.

Comments

The views expressed below are not those of News4Jax or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus