JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser reviews the highlights of Thursday's 2018 State of the Franchise, which featured the team's new uniform reveal, a visionary plan for the area adjacent to newly-named TIAA Bank Field – and much more
1.The Jaguars have new unis …The much-anticipated reveal of the Jaguars' new Nike Vapor Untouchable uniforms took centerstage as 2018 SOTF's climactic, highlight moment – and the moment didn't disappoint. As Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin promised throughout the offseason, the new uniforms are bold – with a heavy nod to tradition. They feature three jerseys (black, white, teal), three pants (black, white, teal) and two socks (standard, color rush teal). A few details: a new framework with minimal seams and five panels (fewer than before), 10-inch numbers on the front, 12-inch numbers on the back and names on the back in "industry-standard" three-inch lettering. But those are just words. Here's the link to the official release and photo gallery and here's part of what Owner Shad Khan had to say about the Jaguars' new look: "They're classic, they're simple, they're powerful, they're agile, they're winning."
2…. and new helmets, too. A high-gloss, all-black helmet will replace the two-toned model of the past five years, with the helmet logo remaining the same as it has been the past five years. A few details: the helmets will now feature "JAX" on a front 3-D bumper to honor the City of Jacksonville and the white bumper on the back of the helmet will now features "JAGUARS" in teal lettering. The helmets can also be seen in the above-linked photo gallery.
4.The 'Bank has a new name.What has been known for a while became official Thursday. The building that began as Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, became Alltel Stadium, became Jacksonville Municipal Stadium again and became EverBank Field will now be known as TIAA Bank Field. Here's a link to details and a rendering of the stadium with TIAA signage.
3."Lot J" is getting closer to reality – and it's much more than a parking lot.Jaguars President Mark Lamping on Thursday announced the Jaguars and the city will work with Baltimore, Maryland-based Cordish Company to develop a plan to develop a large section of downtown Jacksonville adjacent to TIAA Bank Field's South End Zone. Lamping emphasized the project would occur over "a number of years and a number of phases." Renderings shown Thursday depicted the area with multiple developments, including an exhibition hall/convention center, multiple towered hotels/residential spaces and an upgraded marina. Lamping said the project would require demolition of two elevated lanes that connect the Hart Bridge to downtown Jacksonville. Cordish Company has been integral to developing major sports-themed neighborhoods to urban settings in cities such as Kansas City, Missouri, and Baltimore. "It's one thing for the local football team to think it's a good idea to invest in downtown Jacksonville," Lamping said. "It's a totally different thing for an internationally-known, nationally-recognized developer to take a look at Jacksonville and also say, 'You know what? We see the potential.''' Lamping said the project eventually would mean an investment of well over $2 billion. "I think that pretty much says it all," Lamping said.
5.Skynyrd's coming.Thursday's major musical announcement: Lynyrd Skynyrd will appear at TIAA Bank Stadium along with Kid Rock and Jason Aldean on September 2 as part of the legendary Jacksonville group's Last of the Street Survivor Farewell Tour. Here's the link to the story for details, and here's what Skynyrd lead singer Johnny Van Zant had to say: "This is a dream come true for the Lynyrd Skynyrd band."
6.A new style in the North end zone.The Jaguars on Thursday also announced a major relaunching of TIAA's high-profile north deck, which features the stadium's two swimming pools and cabana clubs with a resort-style viewing area. The north deck now will be known as "Camp Grunt Style" in an expansion of the team's relationship with the patriotic-based Grunt Style apparel company. Here's a link for details, with one notable change being that the team will move the "fourth-quarter bell" from the south end zone to the north end zone.
7.Jaguars games will now be heard in able in Spanish.Lamping announced that the Jaguars beginning in 2018 will have Spanish-language broadcast of all Jaguars games through a partnership with Tico Sports.
8.The Jaguars are going to the dogs. Around the 36-minute mark of Thursday's presentation, Lamping paused, then uttered the following words: "We're also really excited to bring the first dog park to an NFL stadium." TIAA Bank Field indeed next season will feature a dog park on the South End Zone end of the stadium and will become the first NFL stadium to feature a dog park in their home facility. The dog park will be presented in conjunction with Jacksonville-based Pet Paradise and will feature a swimming pool for dogs. "We're really excited about this project," Lamping said. "It's going to bring new life to the South End Zone and I think it's a great example of the creativity of our marketing and sales folks, and of the support we're so proud to receive from Jacksonville-based companies."