Poll: Jacksonville may not want to pay for Jaguars stadium renovations, but it will

Jacksonville, Florida - December 18, 2020: Aerial view of Tiaa B
'Local taxpayers are going to end up shelling out an enormous sum of money for this endeavor.'

New polling from the University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab indicates most voters don’t want to spend up to a billion dollars in city money for the football stadium.

But, according to pollster Michael Binder, it may not matter.

“It’s no wonder Duval County voters don’t want to foot the bill for stadium renovations, but what’s really interesting is their change of heart when given the ultimatum of a $1 billion public investment or the Jaguars walking away. This is just one of several reasons that local taxpayers are going to end up shelling out an enormous sum of money for this endeavor,” Binder said.

When presented with a field of options, the runaway winning choice for respondents was to let the Jaguars buy the property and do the work themselves.

“Respondents were asked to choose which outcome they support the most from a list of different options, ranging from no public investment to spending $1 billion of public funds. Unsurprisingly, 51% chose the Jaguars purchasing the land and paying for stadium renovations and sports district development with no public investment, with just 6% in support of the $1 billion public investment currently being proposed by the Jaguars,” the polling memo notes.

As Florida Politics first reported earlier this year, the Jaguars envision a heavy local investment in the stadium, with the Jaguars responsible for the sports district around it. The city government would primarily shoulder the stadium cost, which could be on the hook for anywhere between $800 and $934 million — two-thirds of the overall price tag. Meanwhile, the city would be expected to spend between $75 million and $100 million on the sports district.

Happily for negotiators, local budget hawks turn chicken when confronted with the possibility of the team relocating.

“However, when asked whether they would support the city spending $1 billion if it meant the difference between the Jaguars staying in Jacksonville or moving to another city, 46% said yes, and 47% said no. Even among those who oppose spending any public funds on the project, 33% were willing to split the cost when faced with the possibility of losing the team to another city. Of those who initially said they’d support only $250 million in public funds, 57% conceded to the higher cost when given this choice, and 72% of those who initially said $500 million changed their answer in support of a $1 billion investment.”

It will be up to the Jaguars and Mayor Donna Deegan to change their minds and move consensus. Based on this poll, there is a path.

A.G. Gancarski

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


  • Florida’s Income Tax

    September 18, 2023 at 5:43 am



    Yeah good ol Florida she’ll game of Hide The Taxes.

    Tell us all in the other state how you ‘have no income tax in Florida’ BWAHAHAHAHAHA

    YOU DO SO, you just can’t recognize it when the bill comes.

    Pay up, Jaguar-investors (that’s you, citizens of Duval).

  • Margaret

    September 19, 2023 at 3:48 pm

    This boondoggle which replaces the real needs of the City: Street and Infrastructure improvement and repairs haunts the Citizens who, if it were put to a Public Referendum, would not vote to build a news stadium for the Jaguars. Only a minority of the population of the City attends the games there. The Jaguars are there as entertainment for the rich and the fanatic sports fans who travel from city to city to see them play. They are not what Jacksonville needs to be a First Rate City.

    Look at those cities in Florida with beautiful roads and right-of-ways, clean neighborhoods without litter and compare that to how Jacksonville looks after 8 years of the Republican Mayor’s cow-towing to Shad Khan .

  • Christopher

    September 19, 2023 at 10:00 pm

    I’ve been living in Jacksonville all my life and the city needs this. It’s not just the stadium that’s being upgrade..people forgot about the 2 to 3 thousand jobs that it will bring to the city and specifically in that area. Most of the people who are saying no, I bet aren’t even from Jacksonville. They care nothing about sports. Don’t know much about our history. Jacksonville is a football town!

    • Nope

      September 21, 2023 at 11:55 pm

      That’s one person’s opinion. Next time you’re at a game take a picture of the people around you and tell us how many are your fellow city dwellers. The jaguars have not had a positive influence on the city and continue to be an insane financial drain. Most people cannot afford tickets or would rather visit the dentist. It’s nice you’re a fan but that doesn’t make it a football town or prove it’s a good fiscal decision for the city. Not until like the other commenter says they can prove they can keep the roads paved (like a 3rd world country in huge swaths of the city), the medians mowed and clean (looking like inner city Detroit, no offense to Detroit), stop gouging citizens with fake overassessments on property and a 22 mill rate (highest in the state yet we have no idea where that money goes—oh wait! Shad Khan’s pockets)…. The infrastructure is crumbling, there’s barely any public transportation, and huge portions of the city flood and the power goes out from low level storms. Have we discussed the flooding? So no, the city does not need to be paying $1.2B for a new stadium for a few hundred people if that to attend games. Those $10 an hour jobs could be created elsewhere for far less. I know someone who runs concessions and their employees make more at high school games which are also better attended LOL. Sick of Jaguars being forced on Jacksonville. The city needs to get the fundamentals right first. But it never will.

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