JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Brian from Gainesville, FL
Big O, the proposed new stadium is amazing! If they build anything close to that, I will buy some premium season tickets for sure. In your experience in the NFL, how close do these renderings tend to be to what actually gets built?
You're referencing the conceptual designs for the proposed Stadium of the Future, plans introduced by the Jaguars Wednesday. The proposal indeed is amazing. It's a state-of-the-art project that would accomplish the Jaguars' objective of transforming downtown Jacksonville and securing the team's future here. We'll doubtless discuss the details of the project ad nauseam in the coming months. As for your question, a finished product always will differ somewhat from a rendering in a project of this scale – if only because the project takes many years to complete and a design can be a living, breathing process. But the vision for the stadium is real and I would anticipate the finished product being essentially Wednesday's proposal. That's certainly the intention.
Brendan from Yulee
To be fair KOAF, the fans wanted a stadium with at least a retractable roof. Let's blind 62,000 people with a mirrored design when in direct sunlight. We still are going to get beamed by the sun. Not sure if this hits the mark, from a fan perspective. Also, will doing just renovations be enough to fix the rat problem?
Fan comfort was – and will be – a major point of concern throughout the process. The design calls for a covering that will reduce heat by 10-to-15 degrees and allow for natural ventilation. And to call this plan "just a renovation" misses the mark by a wide margin. It's essentially a new stadium on the former foundation.
Big Jags Fan from Jacksonville
The video of the proposed new stadium is awesome. This definitely will bring our stadium to the forefront of the NFL venues. Our city has experienced – and continues to experience – amazing growth. In addition to the other great attributes Jacksonville has to offer, the NFL Jaguars are a factor in the growth of our city. As a native son, I have seen the image evolution of Jacksonville over the past six decades go from a small (thought-to-be) backwoods city to a desirable metropolitan area with many beautiful parks and beaches, affordable housing, an international airport and great healthcare facilities – to name a few of the benefits. The addition of the Jaguars in the mid-nineties helped to attract new corporations to the area that created new jobs and increased the tax base to allow upgrades to roads and infrastructure. I am "all in" on the new stadium renovations and for the continued growth of Northeast Florida. We need the Jaguars to remain in Jacksonville for the benefit of all in the area. To be penny-wise and pound foolish at this point in time would be a major mistake for the city and its citizens.
One very much fer the proposed Stadium of the Future.
Michael from Middleburg, FL
Does the new stadium design call for artificial turf?
No. Jaguars President Mark Lamping on Wednesday said the goal is for the field of the Stadium of the Future to feature natural grass. The stadium's proposed covering will be made of material that allows sunlight on the field.
Daniel from Jersey City
O-man, the new stadium looks like it's going to be amazing and I can't wait to see it come to life. I did notice, though, that in the promo video they didn't mention anything about a Sbarrro in the press box. How could they not mention that given how important it is?
Don from Marshall NC
For whatever reason, Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen has never reached expectations. He is going to get a monster deal after this year and unfortunately it will not be with the Jaguars. That's the way it looks, but sure would like to keep him. Go Jaguars. If Aidan Hutchinson had to go against Travon Walker and vice versa I am more than sure Travon would move him around like a rag doll. Go Jaguars!
Don not only remains "all in," he also remains a little all-over-the-place in his Jaguars-centric thoughts. He is right to an extent regarding Allen. The No. 7 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, Allen hasn't quite reached expectations. But his value to this Jaguars defense exceeds his sacks total and he no doubt will be one of the highest-pursued – and highest-paid – players available if he becomes an unrestricted free agent following the 2023 season. As for who would win a one-on-one matchup with Jaguars outside linebacker Travon Walker and Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson … it doesn't matter all that much. What does matter is how Walker contributes to the Jaguars. The thought among Jaguars coaches is that he contributed at a high level last season and should improve in 2023. While he wasn't a huge sacks guy as a rookie, he had impact elsewhere. Stay tuned.
Jeremy from Jacksonville
Mr. O, did you really just make a thinly-veiled Princess Bride reference? Combine that with your love for Sbarro's pizza and you can do no wrong in the eyes of this loyal reader!
I didn't think it was veiled at all.
Ray from Newport News, VA
KOAF, salary cap question/observation. I really hope Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence continues to show improvement and the Jags extend his contract. The current contacts for elite quarterbacks are mind-blowing. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson holds the top spot, but his health issues (and maybe his commitment issues) would worry me as an organization. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts … this contract makes sense. Aaron Rodgers … the New York Jets will have deep salary cap issues next season if they retain him; if not, that's a lot of dead money. Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson looks like a bad signing. I would take T-Law over all the others. I am all for paying the quarterback the most money if he can carry a team …
You wrote more. I edited for brevity's sack. Your point, I believe, was that paying quarterbacks elite money is risky – and sometimes foolish – and that it's only wise if that quarterback is good enough to lift those around him and therefore to offset the unavoidable loss of surrounding talent that comes with quarterback megacontracts these days. That point is correct and that will be a primary storyline for this franchise moving forward. Lawrence, likely next offseason, will sign a quarterback megacontract that far exceeds any contract the Jaguars have given a player. When that happens, the franchise's salary-cap dynamics will change and all will be built around Lawrence. It will eventually mean a roster of Lawrence, a few highly paid stars and a core of draft-and-develop/reasonably priced veterans. Is Lawrence the sort of generational, lift-your-team player to merit such a deal? He showed those signs last season. We'll see if he grows into that in the coming seasons.
Chris from Roseville, CA
If only we kept Jason Myers, your inbox would be free from PK emails.
Sam from Orlando
What's more likely? Harry Kane kicking for the Jags and leading us to glory? Or Eugene "Skyscraper" Frenette getting this new stadium built in about 45 minutes with nothing but a claw hammer. My money is always on Mean Gene.
Never bet against longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette. Rules that govern the rest of us mean nothing to Gene.
Dave from Ortega Forest, FL
I'm all for a new and improved stadium (and much needed shade), but I'm worried about the timing of this and that the Jags might not be playing in Jacksonville during some prime years. The next few years have the potential to be the best in franchise history. It will be a shame to not have them play in our hometown. Not only for the fans that have been around since the beginning, but it's an opportunity to cement the next generation of Jags fans and ignite this city. Imagine if last season (and all the wonderful memories/highlights) was played in Gainesville or Orlando. Should I be concerned that the Jags are messing this up?
I don't know that it's fair to say the Jaguars are in danger of "messing this up." TIAA Bank Field is reaching the end of its useful life. A new, state-of-the-art stadium is not something the Jaguars want. It's something they need. They can't continue to play in the nation's premier sports league – a league of state-of-the-art stadium – with TIAA Bank Field as the home stadium. Because a new stadium is $1 billion more than a "renovated" stadium, building on a different site while playing in TIAA Bank Field isn't realistic in this market. There's never a good time to play games outside of a home city. The stadium issue must be addressed at some time. That time just happens to be now.