Amphitheater proposed for EverBank Field in $90M upgrade deal
Different messages for different markets from Shad Khan.

Shad Khan

When dealing with Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan, some things are bargains. For example, the appraised value of attending a party on his yacht is great value at $63.20.

However, other Khan-related expenses come with a more significant price tag. Consider Jacksonville City Council Bull 2015-781, “amendment #14 to the Jacksonville Jaguars lease agreement,” which seeks to build an amphitheater at EverBank Field (as, clearly, the novelty of the pools and the mammoth scoreboards has worn off).

Cynics will say, “Well, maybe City Council should pay for an actual shutdown corner and a left tackle.”

Unfortunately, that’s not in the ordinance, which authorizes “proposed enhancements [that] will make our National Football League stadium a world-class facility and enhance the fan experience for those who cheer on the Jaguars and come here for the Florida-Georgia game, Bowl and other major events.”

Beyond the amphitheater, the ordinance also funds a covered practice facility and improvements to club seating. The city would pay $45 million “from the city’s commercial paper facility” for such; Khan would pay the other half, with his company, American Thunder, managing the amphitheater.

This deal would require an amendment to the capital improvement plan, and would be managed by Sports and Entertainment.

The bill claims that the facility would help “revitalize downtown” and attract “major events” to EverBank, with the city agreeing “to provide the initial funding for the City Contribution from the issuance of fixed-rate debt and/or from a short term financing facility.”

As well, a “special revenue fund to be known as the EverBank Field Amphitheater and Covered Field Maintenance and Improvements Fund” would be created, “into which shall be deposited all ticket and parking surcharges collected in connection with events held at the Amphitheater and Covered Field, and all donations or gifts together with the interest earned thereon. The use of such funds shall be to maintain, repair and improve the Amphitheater and Covered Field located adjacent to the south end zone of EverBank Field, as well as the Marquees.”

Prediction: though councilmembers may grouse at the costs of such upgrades in light of a catastrophic epidemic of deferred maintenance, the agreement should pass as easily as the scoreboard deal did from the previous council. Khan has pledged to be politically active; it takes little imagination to envision that activity extending to opposing dissident councilmembers.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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