Jacksonville clears funding for $120 million Jaguars’ football performance center

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Jacksonville City Council members on Aug. 24 voted unanimously to approve a partnership with the Jaguars to build the team’s $120 million football performance center.

Jaguars president Mark Lamping indicated the team would begin discussions on putting together a construction team immediately, broadcaster News 4 Jax reported. He called it a “fast track project” and hopes to have the project completed by the 2023 season.

The bill authorizes the city to borrow $60 million to help finance the structure’s construction and to amend the Jaguars’ stadium lease with the city. The team will pay the remaining $60 million.

“This is really a huge step and I’m not sure everyone appreciates just how significant this is,” Lamping said. “Journeys start with a single step, but when you look back on it, the first step is the most important, and this is a key first step for the stadium of the future and the future of the Jaguars here in Northeast Florida.”

Lamping told the broadcaster that the 127,000-plus-sq. ft. training facility paves the way for the stadium of the future and opens the door to tomorrow for the Jaguars’ relationship with the city.

“We have nine years left on our lease here. We know that in order to make sure we have NFL football here in Northeast Florida for generations to come, which is what Shad is committed to, we know we’re going to have to have a stadium solution,” Lamping said. “You know the existing stadium certainly won’t serve the needs of our fans for the next 20-30 years.

The Jacksonville Daily Record reported that the building will be northwest of TIAA Bank Field. The center’s design needs final approval from the Downtown Development Review Board before breaking ground.  It will include the team’s offices, an equipment room weight training and medical facilities. There also will be an indoor practice field, two outdoor natural-grass fields with about 2,300 bleacher seats, a team store and concession facilities.

Lamping said this is just one component to show the Jaguars’ commitment to Jacksonville. The other is the Shipyards, which he said will transform Downtown. City Council is scheduled to vote on that proposal within the next month, the broadcaster says.

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