JACKSONVILLE – The latest EverBank Field megaproject is nearly complete.
Daily's Place Flex Field, which will serve as the Jaguars' indoor practice facility, is "very close to 100 percent complete" and should be ready for full use in about a week and half.
Jaguars President Mark Lamping while showing the Flex Field to media Friday said he expects the facility to be ready for full use when the Jaguars return from New England. The team is scheduled to practice against the Patriots next week and play them in the 2017 preseason opener Thursday.
"It's very close to being 100 percent complete," Lamping said. "The team has been using the facility this week – mostly for light workouts, walkthroughs, some rehab and some stretching. The expectation is everything will be 100 percent complete by the time the team returns from Boston next Friday."
Final field markings were being sewn into the turf as Lamping spoke Friday. Lamping said that process should be complete in the next 24 hours.
The process of filling the turf with small rubber pellets that give the surface cushioning and a grass-like feel will begin once the markings are complete. Wall pads and permanent cameras also are being installed.
"They'll actually allow for the taping of practice and other activities that are going on here," Lamping said. "That camera system will be hardwired back to our film department."
The 94,000-square-foot facility will be cooled to 75 degrees when the doors are closed, and the high point of the roof is 55 feet with a consistent clearance of 48 feet. "Airline hangar" doors open from the 30-yard-line-to-30-yard line on the south side of the facility. Doors on the north side open to the stage of the Daily's Place Amphitheater, which was completed in May.
"It would allow us to have a performance with the band turned into the facility," Lamping said. "We could put an extension on the stage and literally could have a concert in here with general-admission seating. We don't expect that to happen very frequently, but we're excited about where we are."
Lamping said while the original hope was to complete the Flex Field portion of Daily's Place by mid-July in time for the start of 2017 Training Camp, rains helped delay the process.
"We had hoped to have it done earlier – no question about that," Lamping said. "The idea was to have it 100 percent complete before the team came back. We had a lot of rain at one point. There were areas of the roof that weren't completely water tight. That got water down in the field and we had to wait for it to dry."
Lamping said the Flex Field portion of the facility likely will be used on game days, but he said specifics have yet to be determined.
"The No. 1 customer for this facility is the Jacksonville Jaguars, and it's not the business side of the Jacksonville Jaguars; it's the football side of the Jacksonville Jaguars," Lamping said. "[Jaguars Head Coach] Doug [Marrone] really needs to get a sense of how to best utilize this facility. …
"We certainly expect there will be a lot of opportunities to do things in here, but we want the football guys to decide exactly how they want to deploy it. Our expectation is we'll have some fan activities on game days because the team wouldn't be using it."