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O-Zone: Kudos to all

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Michael from Orange Park, FL

Whoooooo! Whoooo! Whooooo!

Good email. Jacksonville City Council on Tuesday evening voted to approve the Stadium of the Future deal between the City of Jacksonville and the Jaguars. The deal assures the Jaguars will remain in Jacksonville for the long-term – and that they will do so in a state-of-the-art stadium. The last "hurdle" remaining is approval by NFL owners in October – and while such approval is never a given, there's little reason at this point to believe it won't be approved. A lot of credit is deserved for this one. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan. Jaguars President Mark Lamping. Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan. The 14 City Council members who voted yes Tuesday. All Jaguars fans who have supported the team and believe in its future. Countless others. What was notable about this from the beginning was the "noiseless" nature of the negotiations. Deegan, the City and the Jaguars throughout wanted to get a deal done and saw the importance of it. There was no public sniping. There were no salvos across bows. This was good for all sides and the process reflected that. Well done all around. Whoooooo? Whoooo? Whooo? Absolutely.

Jason from North Pole, AK

I've never lived in Jacksonville, but as a lifelong fan, the "London Jaguars" crap always really irritated me. Mostly because it was so lazy, baseless and ignorant. I'm sure it was even more upsetting to Jacksonville residents who bleed teal. Glad all of that stupidity can be put to rest. Congratulations to everyone living in the Jacksonville area. Y'all deserve this.

The notion of the Jaguars moving – either to London or some other destination conjured by whoever happened to be doing the conjuring – essentially became "crap" the day Khan purchased the Jaguars. Like Wayne and Delores Weaver before him, Khan has shown a remarkable commitment to Jacksonville. This has been the case for well more than a decade and anyone believing the franchise would move to London was showing themselves as not bothering to look at facts. Khan long has invested in Jacksonville and all his actions since becoming owners have been with the idea of solidifying the Jaguars in Jacksonville. Perhaps Tuesday's news will finally convince doubters of that commitment. Good for Jaguars fans. Good for Jacksonville residents. Good for everyone.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

Congrats to the city and Jaguars ownership. Knowing that they are staying in the city they belong in is beautiful!


Mark from Kansas City, MO

The city of Charlotte: "Here Panthers, here's $800 million for stadium renovations." The city of Jacksonville: "Hold my beer."

Under the $1.4 billion Stadium of the Future agreement, the City of Jacksonville will pay about $775 million with the Jaguars responsible for $625 million and cost overruns. This is about as close to "50-50" as a small-market agreement can be and be approved by NFL owners. This is a good deal for the City of Jacksonville. I don't particularly care if Charlotte got a good deal.

Marc from Oceanway

Is it true?!?

Maybe! I don't know! Sure!

Ray from Jax

John: The Charlotte City Council just agreed to pay $650 million of the $800 million renovation of the Panthers' stadium. I hope Shad Khan doesn't see that breakdown of costs!

I don't cover the Carolina Panthers or the Charlotte situation. I do cover the Jaguars and I know enough about the Stadium of the Future to know I don't know everything. What I know about the Stadium of the Future is it's a very fair deal for both parties – and a good deal for Jacksonville compared to many other city/stadium situations.

Richard from St Augustine, FL

Great, KOAF. Congratulations to all involved in getting the lease deal over the finish line. While I know it won't, it should put an end to Jacksonville moving the franchise to another city. Shad Khan clearly is putting his money where it should quiet all naysayers! Great job all involved. DTWD Go Jags


Tom from Charlottesville

As I am sure you are aware, Waldo presents a problem if future games need to be played at The Swamp! Will the Jags reimburse or prepay speeding fines for those traveling to those games?

While I somehow never got stopped for speeding in Waldo as a student at the University of Florida in the 1980s, or while covering Florida sports in the 1990s, I am well aware of the problem you cite. My understanding is it's not a "problem" anymore, though, and that it hasn't been for some time. I get the lingering concern, though. Old scars heal slowly.

Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK

Oh Mighty 'O' / King of All Funk, I see R.E.M. were admitted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame with the original lineup playing together for the first time since 2007. Are you hoping for a reunion tour with multiple nights at Daily's Place so you can shout for Gardening At Night to be played?

I felt a connection to R.E.M. when in college – as deep as any connection I ever felt to a band. Like many people my age who "found" R.E.M. in the early 1980s, I felt as if they were "my discovery" and I very delusionally thought my connection was somehow realer and deeper than the countless other "discoverers." I would be surprised if R.E.M. ever toured again. The members long have been on record saying it would not happen. I damned sure would do what I could do to attend, though. I would yell for "Sitting Still" first and then I would yell for anything else from Murmur, Reckoning and Chronic Town. I wouldn't mind hearing them sing Superman, either. I'd stand for that.

Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville

Jaguars President Mark Lamping recently said the "sports district" around the stadium is still important and they want it. For now, they relented and have let it go so the parking will remain. I don't understand why this need to have a "sports district" around the stadium, instead of parking and areas to gather for tailgating, is so crucial. According to the huddles they sound like they are less concerned about making EverBank a FOOTBALL stadium and into some public spectacle. You have been here a while, you know the traditions and history of the Jags, Florida/Georgia game and other football games. A HUGE part of these events is the before and after celebrations. I really hope Owner Shad Khan and Lamping give this up or at least compromise and stop the movement to remove all our traditions to make way for this "park."

The Jaguars well understand tradition and they understand the importance of parking around EverBank Stadium. But they have not – and will not "give up" – on an entertainment district and having infrastructure surrounding the stadium area. Such elements are necessary for a thriving downtown – and are necessary to make the vision for the stadium a success. I expect the Jaguars to support and lobby for such infrastructure until there is such infrastructure.

Limo Bob from Neptune Beach

Aaron Rodgers missing mandatory camp? Is it real or a conspiracy theory by the press to create something during the dead zone season? Could Rodgers be feeling the side effects of not getting vaccinated?

Rodgers, in his second season as the New York Jets' starting quarterback, indeed missed the Jets' mandatory minicamp. How would this be a conspiracy theory?

Desert Heat NM from Alamogordo

O, I know that it's hard to predict at this moment, but I think that our defense may be in the Top 5 this year, what say you?

I expect the Jaguars' defense has a chance to be very good this season. I expect this because I expect defensive lineman Arik Armstead will complement front seven players such as Josh Allen, Travon Walker, DaVon Hamilton and Roy Robertson-Harris and make this a very good front. It also sounds as if the defensive players are grasping the scheme, and that they believe in the scheme. That's a good start. I don't know where the Jaguars will rank defensively. I do expect it will be good enough to complement what I expect to be an improved offense.

Sam from Orlando

Is it true that when someone mentioned throwback uniforms to Eugene "The Don" Frenette he started pointing at his mint condition Members Only jacket and kicked everyone out of his office (7/11 public bathroom)?

While it's true that longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist, Northeast Florida cultural icon and force of nature Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette incorporates Members Only routinely into his wardrobe, his main jacket – which he calls his "smooth operator" – is no longer in mint condition. It has, alas, succumbed to the inevitable wear of near-constant usage.

Big Jags Fan from Jacksonville

Kudos to the Jax City Council for voting to approve the stadium renovation deal! We remain one of 30 cities with an NFL team (metro LA and metro NYC have two teams each). It will be exciting to be in the stadium in 2028 for the initial game in the renovated stadium.

Kudos indeed.