Jacksonville mayor-elect promises $2 million to negotiate Jaguars stadium plan

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Florida Construction News staff writer

Jacksonville Mayor-elect Donna Deegan says there will be $2 million in next year’s budget to hire experts for negotiations with the Jaguars about renovating the football stadium and extending the lease.

Deegan has said for months the city will hire a team of negotiators who have been involved in hammering out an NFL stadium deal. She said including money in the 2023-24 budget will enable the city to retain those experts.

“During the campaign I pledged to bring in the best negotiators — those experienced at deals of this nature with the NFL,” she said in a statement. “That’s what the line item was intended to cover. “

The Jaguars released an animated video and renderings of a reconfigured and renovated TIAA Bank Field last week, with an estimated cost of $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion. The Jaguars want to reach an agreement with the city by March on a stadium deal.

The city has not yet selected any outside firms for the negotiations, but the Office of General Counsel has compiled a list of potential choices and examined what other NFL cities spent when they negotiated stadium deals.

A series of “community huddles” will be held to collect feedback on the plan with the Jaguars hoping to reach an agreement to present to NFL owners next spring and the goal for a construction start is February 2026.

Jaguars owner Shad Khan proposes to build a year-round entertainment district outside the stadium. That entertainment district could have a rough cost between $500 million and $668 million. The Jaguars want to incorporate that proposed district into the negotiations over the stadium with a goal of the city and team splitting 50-50 the cost of the stadium and the district combined.

Deegan will take office July 1. Her transition team had representatives at Mayor’s Budget Review Committee meetings to hear presentations from departments and agencies about their requests for the budget that will start Oct. 1.

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