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Stadium of the Future: "Now is our time…"

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JACKSONVILLE – The vision now is set, and it's state of the art.

It's a vision for not only an NFL franchise, but for Downtown Jacksonville and all of North Florida – and for events that include but aren't limited to the Jaguars. It's a vision for the future.

"We're excited about it," Jaguars President Mark Lamping said.

The Jaguars on Wednesday morning introduced "conceptual designs for the Stadium of the Future, a project nearly three years in the making intended to inspire a transformation of Downtown Jacksonville and secure NFL football in Northeast Florida well into the future."

Lamping, who said he is eager to hear from Jacksonville residents and fans in the coming weeks at 14 "community huddles," said Wednesday afternoon at TIAA Bank Field that estimated costs and potential timetables will be determined in due course. For now, as Lamping said, "Now is our time."

"It's been a long process," he said, adding that the goal was two-fold – to produce the design introduced Wednesday and to set the stage for negotiations with the city on funding the project.

"I think we've done both of those," he said, adding: "We really want it to happen. We don't want to leave any stone unturned in our ability to try to find a [stadium] solution here in Jacksonville."

Lamping said the hope is that the City and the Jaguars can reach an agreement that would allow the team to present that agreement to NFL Owners for approval next spring. That would allow what Lamping called "serious construction" to begin in February 2026.

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Lamping said the pace of the negotiations largely will be determined by Mayor-Elect Donna Deegan, who will take office July 1.

"We're ready to go tomorrow," Lamping said, "but we understand that we can't go tomorrow. We look forward to beginning that process when she believes they're ready. I know that we share the importance of Jaguars to Jacksonville. Jacksonville is really important to the Jaguars, and the Jaguars are really important to Jacksonville. Our interests are aligned in getting something done."

Lamping said the working financial estimate for the renovated stadium is between $1.3 and $1.4 billion, adding that a new-construction stadium elsewhere downtown or anywhere in the Jacksonville region would be about $1 billion more. Lamping said the cost for producing the design plans for the project that were unveiled Wednesday was $2.6 million, with the Jaguars paying $2.5 million and the city paying $100,000, emphasizing that the team's objective is unchanged from when Owner Shad Khan purchased the Jaguars in 2012.

"He wants to make sure we do everything we possibly can to make sure we have a stable, consistently competitive NFL franchise in Northeast Florida for generations to come," Lamping said.

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Lamping added, "Now is our time. We've been tracking towards this. We all know how long these projects take and we have our lease that's expiring. We've done all the work. The city's growing. The Jaguars are ascending. We have new leadership in the mayor's office.

"It's Jacksonville's time and we're going to do everything we can to make sure that that opportunity doesn't pass us by."

Jaguars and City of Jacksonville officials formally began that process in 2020 with an engineering analysis of TIAA Bank Field that concluded with what Lamping called the "good news" that the stadium "challenges" could be solved by renovating rather than new construction. The process also included "in-depth fan surveys" and discussions with stakeholders such as the Universities of Florida and Georgia and major concert promoters.

A "comprehensive selection process" featuring eight sports architects coast to coast resulted in HOK's Sports + Recreation + Entertainment selected as the design partner.

"It's quite rare, if not seldom, that a renovation is spoken about as an icon," Peter Broeder, HOK's design principal, said Wednesday. "I think this certainly will be that."

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Broeder called fan feedback "the rubric against which we evaluated all of our design decisions," adding that fan comfort was a priority. Design highlights can be found here and include significantly wider concourses, the ability to expand seating from base 62,500 capacity to up to 71,500 for college football (more for concerts) and an open-air venue with a shade canopy that lowers temperatures 10-to-15 degrees and protect fans from the weather.

"Every inch of the building is going to be upgraded," Broeder said.

Lamping said also the hope is for the playing surface to be natural grass.

"That is the goal," he said. "We have to come up with a solution. There are ways to do it. We don't know what the ultimate solution is. But again, the objective is natural grass."

Lamping, too, discussed potential timeframes for the project and options for Jaguars home games during the process. He said the two timeframe options are a 30-month, start-to-finish approach with Jaguars home games being played away from TIAA Bank Field for two seasons – or a four-year approach with offseason construction and home games played at TIAA Bank Field.

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One option if home games are away from TIAA Bank Field would be to play games in stadiums that are almost NFL-ready, such as Florida Field at the University of Florida in Gainesville or Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The other option in that scenario is adding seats to an existing facility in Jacksonville such as the downtown Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville or Hodges Field at the University of North Florida.

"Those solutions come with a significant cost," Lamping said of playing at the baseball grounds or UNF. "It's about $125 million to go play in a temporary facility."

Lamping said the "four-year option" with home games played at TIAA Bank Field would add about $190 million to the project.

"The least disruptive, most-efficient and cheapest route is to do it over two years and go to a stadium that you don't have to add a lot to, which would either be Florida Field or Camping World Stadium," he said. "We've had conversations with both, we've given them the specs and I think it's fair to say that both would be interested."

Over the next two weeks Lamping will crisscross Duval County at 14 community huddles to speak to fans and hear their feedback. Fans are invited to visit to see the full schedule and register to receive going updates on the Stadium of the Future.

The best is yet to come in Jacksonville. Take an exclusive first look at the Jaguars conceptual designs for the Stadium of the Future, a design project nearly three years in the making intended to inspire a transformation of Downtown Jacksonville and secure NFL football in Northeast Florida well into the future.

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