Jaguars’ ‘electrifying’ Miller Electric Center


Jacksonville Jaguars opens new HQ Image: Kam Nedd & Jacksonville Jaguars

This was a good day, a day of hope for the present and the future.

‘Jacksonville Jaguars’ stated that the owner of the National Football League (NFL) team Jacksonville Jaguars (US) Shad Khan smiled widely on July 18th – his birthday – at the grand opening for the Miller Electric Center (MEC), the state-of-the-art facility in downtown Jacksonville that will serve as the Jaguars’ football operations facilities and as a first step in a bigger vision.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are a professional American football team based in Jacksonville, Florida, US. The Jaguars compete in the National Football League as a member club of the American Football Conference South Division. The team plays its home games at the TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida (US).

The 67,838-capacity TIAA Bank Field is an American football stadium located in Jacksonville, Florida (US), which primarily serves as the home facility of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL).

Exulted Khan, “I couldn’t ask for a better present, let me tell you that.”

‘Jacksonville Jaguars’ further stated that Khan, the Jaguars’ owner, said on July 18th in front of the MEC. Among those sharing the podium with Khan at the $120 million, 125,000-square-foot center’s opening was Donna Deegan, who was sworn in as Jacksonville’s Mayor on July 1st.

Shahid Khan is a Pakistani-American billionaire businessman and sports tycoon. He is the owner of Flex-N-Gate, an American supplier of motor vehicle components. Khan is also the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL) and Fulham F.C. of the Premier League (UK), and Co-Owner of the American wrestling promotion All Elite Wrestling (AEW), along with his son Tony Khan.

The Jaguars President Mark Lamping introduced Deegan at what he said “will certainly be the first of many downtown ribbon cuttings and dedications that will happen over the next eight years”.

Deegan called July 18th “a significant day” and a “milestone for the team and for our City”.

She added, “I want to thank Mr. Khan and Mr. Lamping. They have been so wonderful to deal with. When I think about the relationship between the Jaguars and the Jacksonville, the word that comes to mind is their partnership, it really does.”

Commented Khan, “What makes this particularly gratifying is that the vision certainly wasn’t mine alone. Our community City leadership, football team, Miller Electric … everyone had the same vision, a vision and belief that we can do amazing things in Jacksonville. Together, we made it a reality. We made it happen.”

A public-private partnership between the Jaguars and the City of Jacksonville, the MEC includes locker rooms, training and medical facilities, office space, and a draft room. It also features two full-size grass practise fields and one indoor field, along with shaded public viewing stands, concession areas and a team store.

The Jaguars 2023 training camp will begin on July 26th.

Khan also called the MEC “the best of the best, the gold standard for a long time to come”, adding that “the best is still to come. Jacksonville is rising. Our football team has great promise and downtown Jacksonville is beginning to fulfill its potential. The Miller Electric Center is emblematic of all this and more. This makes it absolutely a great day for Jacksonville.”

Present at the podium cutting the ceremonial ribbon on July 18th were Lamping, the Jacksonville City Council President Ron Salem, the Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke, the Miller Electric Company Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Henry Brown, the Haskell (architectural engineering company based in Jacksonville, Florida) President and head honcho James O’Leary, and the Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson.

Put in Pederson, who will enter his second season as the Head Coach in 2023, “All I have to say is “Wow. We stood over here in this parking lot about 18 months ago when we broke ground on this place. The vision then obviously is the vision you see behind us. The dream has come true. Our job is not finished. It’s just begun. What we started last year as a football team is only going to continue and get better. I can’t wait to see our players when they report to walk into this building. Some have already seen it. Just to see the smile on their faces, to have a beautiful practise field out here to host training camp and many other events … I’m just so excited for that as the football coach here.”

Added Pederson, “It brought us here today (July 18th) to open this state-of-the-art facility. The partnership between Jacksonville and the Jaguars goes so much deeper than financial support. It’s our shared vision for a united community and a thriving downtown that lifts up the surrounding neighborhoods. The Jacksonville Renaissance is underway. I am so glad to see the Jaguars playing such a big part in it.”

Deegan, a lifelong Jacksonville resident, worked as a news anchor for WTLV-12 Jacksonville when the Jaguars were awarded an expansion franchise in 1993. She spoke on July 18th of being on the news set the night the team was awarded, also speaking of the Jaguars’ 2022 AFC South title and of their subsequent AFC Divisional Playoff victory.

She added, “This team has the power to bring us all together, and indeed it does. The Jaguars also remind us that we are a can-do City when we’re united and we’re working alongside of each other to do big things. I look forward to our shared future, and I know that no matter what it holds, we’re going to all take it a play at a time, and we’re going to get it done.”

Lamping called the MEC the “first step to the ‘Stadium of the Future’”, the designs for which the Jaguars introduced in June.

Khan called the MEC “another example of vision becoming reality in Jacksonville. What makes this particularly gratifying is the vision certainly wasn’t mine alone. Our community City leadership, football team, Miller Electric … everyone had the same vision, a vision and belief that we can do amazing things in Jacksonville. Together, we made it a reality. We made it happen. I’m just so excited for that as the football coach here.”

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