Speaking at at the Jaguars' annual state of the franchise event, team owner Shad Khan and president Mark Lamping unveiled the construction plans aimed at revitalizing the Shipyards area, which spans about 48 acres of property owned by the city on the north bank of the St. Johns River. The project would bridge EverBank Field and the practice facility with the rest of the downtown area.
No timetable has been set on the project, as it awaits city council approval.
"The Shipyards would give Downtown Jacksonville the kind of iconic identity that many downtown districts in the United States enjoy and we currently lack," Khan said. "But it doesn't work or make sense if it doesn't provide jobs, boost our economy and self-confidence, stabilize the future of the Jaguars franchise and improve our overall quality of life. Our proposal to partner with the City of Jacksonville on this project will achieve this and more."
Included in the Shipyards plans are renovations to EverBank Field, which the Jaguars have occupied since it opened in 1995 as Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. Club seating renovations are planned and will reduce the stadium capacity by nearly 3,000 to 64,107, the team said.
The practice fields will also be significant part of the Shipyards plans, featuring a three-tiered design to blend the facility into the surrounding area.
The Jaguars reported local revenue up 23.5 percent this season and ticket revenue up from 57.6 percent to 59.4 percent. The team said it had the NFL's fourth-fastest growing home attendance last year.
The Jaguars finished 3-13 last year, marking their fourth straight losing season.
- Mike Fiammetta