As stadium negotiations continue between the city of Jacksonville and the NFL Jaguars, the recently elected Mayor is clarifying that when she watches home games, she’s with the City Council and not the party on the other side of the table for a billion-dollar deal.
“I’ll tell you where I am. Frankly, you know, if I had my way, I’d still be in my season tickets, which are in the north end zone, but the security folks don’t really like that much,” Donna Deegan said during a radio interview on WJCT’s First Coast Connect.
Instead, Deegan said there’s a box that she shares “with the City Council members.”
“All of us are together in one box. Shahid Khan is in his box. I have not ever been in Khan’s box since I’ve been there. It wouldn’t change anything that I’m going to do as far as dealing with the Jaguars are concerned. But I agree, I don’t think the optics would be good and it wouldn’t be appropriate and I have not done it.”
Last month, city negotiator Mike Weinstein noted that he has been talking to Jaguars’ President Mark Lamping, addressing the City Council.
Meetings continue between city and Jaguars representatives, with the “lines of communication going quite well.”
“Just to give you a sense of the process, there were 14 of us in the (introductory) meeting,” Weinstein said, describing a conclave some weeks back. “Twelve of the 14 were lawyers, (which should) give you a sense of how complicated this process is going to be as we move forward.”
The Jaguars offered information that they have been presenting to the community, Weinstein said, but “we wanted a lot more,” including details on “what this picture really is that they’ve been presenting, what’s in it, the value of it and, and how possibly could it be constructed as we talk about construction.”
“I continue to feel very confident that they want to be here. We want them to be here long term,” Weinstein added, cautioning that negotiations will “take a while,” but the goal is to have the team in its revamped stadium by 2028 with a new 30-year lease.
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.
Weinstein said a full package is “many months” away from being able to be divulged, but he expects to present a full proposal to the Council as soon as possible.