No playoffs this year, but Jacksonville Jaguars will win in January
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is a major proponent of Lot J. Photo via A.G. Gancarski

Lot J will pass, advocates think. And it won't be close.

The Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-12 as of this writing in terms of the NFL season, look poised to go from worst to first on a different field this January.

In the friendly confines of the City Council chambers, the team looks poised to get its Lot J proposal across the goal line in January. Not that they couldn’t have done it last week, advocates say.

Democrat Reggie Gaffney, whose district houses the Jaguars’ stadium and the Sports Complex, told City Council members Friday that God had told him the measure would have the requisite 13 votes for a supermajority. Mere mortals counting the votes, meanwhile, expect at least 15 of the 19 Council members to hit the green button.

And a lot of green is in play for Jacksonville, which would be committing a huge chunk of capital to the project negotiated by Mayor Lenny Curry, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Cordish Companies.

The proposed entertainment zone at the Sports Complex, a joint proposal of the Jaguars and the Mayor’s Office, would come with a hefty city obligation. The city would put in $233 million on the project, with borrowing costs adding at least $100 million to the city obligation. Allocations include $50 million on a Live! Entertainment Venue, nearly $93 million on infrastructure, and a $65 million interest-free “breadbox” loan to the Jaguars. A hotel would be developed on the site also, but the city would not be on the hook for that development.

During a Friday meeting, some allies of the Mayor’s Office expressed confidence that the bill could move next month after the City Council’s holiday break.

“We’re getting to a good place here,” noted second-term Republican Aaron Bowman. “I think on the seventh we’re in position to move the bill, with an omnibus amendment that pulls in everything we’ve agreed to.”

Republican first-termer LeAnna Cumber said “everyone has what we need to make a decision, either up or down, at the beginning of January.”

Progress seemed somewhat less assured just a few days before, when Jacksonville City Council President Tommy Hazouri said the bill wouldn’t be voted on this year and there was no movement to test the vote count at this point.

Jaguars’ President Mark Lamping described the Jaguars as a “free agent team,” noting that other markets, such as his old stomping grounds in St. Louis, theoretically awaited if they didn’t get favorable terms.

But on Friday, Lamping was full of succor and soft soap, offering an emollient balm to those handful of Council members who showed up to a meeting that those on hand think was decisive.

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


  • Sonja Fitch

    December 14, 2020 at 4:18 am

    Reggie Gaffney , GOD??? You are pathetic! The needs in Jacksonville do not include or need a damn Lot J waste of tax dollars! You are our brother and sister keepers! You have let the MONEY be your guidance ! Not God!!!

  • Amy Roberts

    December 14, 2020 at 7:48 am

    This project should not be even considered until the entire plan has been outlined with detailed costs and timeline to the taxpayers that is not influenced by the Curry administration or from Shad’s business associates, then it needs to be on the ballot. Too much money at stake for the people actual paying for it not to have a voice.

  • Red

    December 15, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    It would be a bigger no-brainer if the Jags were at least sporadically successful. Will this development be open year-round? What will it do for the surrounding neighborhoods in need of revitalization?

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn