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Official: Jacksonville City Council Approves Stadium of Future Deal

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JACKSONVILLE – The deal is done. The future is bright.

Jacksonville City Council early Tuesday evening voted to approve the Stadium of the Future deal between the City of Jacksonville and the Jaguars. The 19-member council approved the projected $1.4 billion renovation by a 14-1-2 margin.

"The belief and determination of Delores and Wayne Weaver to make the Jacksonville Jaguars a reality more than 30 years ago was reaffirmed today by the leadership of Mayor Donna Deegan, her team and the Jacksonville City Council," Jaguars Owner Shad Khan said in a statement immediately following the vote.

Khan's statement continued:

“The message then, and now, should be clear.  Never doubt Jacksonville!”

The renovation will transform EverBank Stadium into a modern, state-of-the-art facility. The Jaguars originally announced plans for the renovation in the summer of 2023.

"I feel pretty darned proud," Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan said. "This is a historic day."

Deegan called the day "monumental."

"I think it's generational progress," she said.

The agreement marks a critical step in a process that the Jaguars have worked toward for at least four years.

"We studied those cities that had problems with their teams," Jaguars President Mark Lamping said. "There have been cities that have lost their NFL teams and they generally have the same thing in common. It's a smaller market. The team doesn't have a lease tying them to the city and they have an unsolved stadium problem. Shad's commitment from the very beginning was to do everything to ensure that doesn't happen to Jacksonville. He started early on.

"We've been spending a tremendous amount of time and resources over the last four years. We're thrilled we could turn that goal that Shad and the community shared to keep the Jaguars here in Northeast Florida for generations to come.

"We've turned that goal into a reality thanks to the mayor and her team."

Deegan, a Jacksonville native and longtime Jaguars fan, was asked if there was personal pride in helping get the agreement done.

"Are you kidding?" she said. "I'm still pinching myself that I get to do this job. When we first started to talk, we were both so focused on making sure that we did this as fairly and quickly as possible because we knew how important it was. I'm just so excited.

"As a Jaguars fan, as a Jacksonville fan, I'm just thrilled."

City Council President Ron Salem immediately after the vote emphasized the collaborative nature of the negotiations leading to the vote.

"We are the envy of the sports industry today," Salem said. "The process worked. We all worked together so the process worked."

The stadium deal must be approved by NFL owners at their fall meetings in October.

"We've obviously been keeping the league up to date during this entire process," Lamping said. "There are a lot of questions, but we're satisfied we'll be able to effectively answer those questions and look forward to getting this finalized in October."

The Jaguars and the City issued the following statement immediately upon approval: "We're excited that the City Council has approved this historic agreement that will keep the Jaguars in Jacksonville for decades to come, enhance the fan experience for NFL and non-NFL events, and provide a springboard for downtown growth starting with the completion of world-class riverfront parks.

"The other portions of the community benefits agreement represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve the quality of life for citizens across Jacksonville. We remain committed to working with the City Council to pass those pieces of the package when they return in July."

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