TIAA Bank redo may require Jaguars to move out



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Jacksonville Jaguars might leave their stadium for 2 years Image: EverBank Field, AndrewAvitus, CC BY 3.0

The wholesale renovation of the stadium where the National Football League (NFL) team Jacksonville Jaguars play – the TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida (US) – would require the team to play its home games somewhere else for two seasons, the Mayor of Jacksonville, Lenny Curry, said recently.

‘jacksonville.com’ stated that Curry said he understands the Jaguars are scouting potential locations in Jacksonville for those home games, which Curry suggested could be in the 2025 and 2026 football seasons.

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

The 67,838-capacity TIAA Bank Field is an American football stadium located in Jacksonville, Florida (US) that primarily serves as the home facility of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL) and the headquarters of the professional wrestling promotion All Elite Wrestling.

‘jacksonville.com’ further stated that Curry said during those two seasons, the annual Florida-Georgia game could be played outside Jacksonville with each school taking a turn hosting the game at its campus stadium.

Curry further stated that the “best-case scenario,” the renovation would take place over two years and impact two football seasons when the “team will have to play somewhere else. The goal would be to play somewhere in Jacksonville. Those discussions are happening, but two years is the goal. … I do know that they are considering certain sites that are local that could accommodate them for at least two years.”

Curry’s comments marked the first time any official has said renovating the TIAA Bank Field will put it off-limits to home games – “I really believe it’s going to be a major renovation but when it’s done, you’ll think you’re in a brand-new stadium.”

Curry said a timeline for the stadium overhaul could be that work would take place in 2025 and 2026. The Jaguars’ lease for the City-owned stadium runs through the 2029 season.

Curry did not give any figures for what the City’s cost would be for the renovation of the stadium.

Other than the TIAA Bank Field, the largest stadium in Jacksonville is the 12,000-capacity Hodges Stadium at the University of North Florida. The University of North Florida does not have a school football team but the stadium is used for soccer games and for track and field meets. The University of North Florida officially lists seating at 9,400 but the estimated capacity has been as high as 12,000.

The University of North Florida is a public research university in Jacksonville, Florida (US). It is part of the State University System of Florida and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, masters and doctorate degrees.

The 12,000-capacity Hodges Stadium is a multipurpose stadium at the University of North Florida and the home field for the North Florida Ospreys soccer, track and field and cross-country teams. It is located on the university’s campus in Jacksonville, Florida, US.

Curry said he is not aware of any talks with the other Cities, such as Orlando, to host Jaguars games at their stadiums – “If any of those conversations have happened, I have not been privy to them, and I’ve been in almost all those conversations, so I don’t think so at this point.”

The Jaguars also have played home games in London (UK) more than any other NFL team.

Curry said he doesn’t expect negotiations with the Jaguars on the future of the stadium will be finished before he leaves office at the end of June, but he said, “We will be in a pretty good posture for the next administration to pick it up and begin to move quickly.”

He said the biggest challenge will be making the case to residents who aren’t football fans for why the use of taxpayer dollars at the stadium benefits Jacksonville – “I would say to the next administration and the next City Council, there will be public noise around this because it’s the taxpayer dollars being invested. But these are the types of big deals that elected officials need to take a stand on if they believe it’s important, which I do, and be willing to take the arrows and take the criticism to do something big like this.”

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