Taxpayers need to be looking for a Hail Mary pass tonight to save their team from a loss. But it’s not likely a play anyone on City Council will be brave enough to call - Council is expected to approve the amended Jaguars lease that is scheduled for a vote at their meeting tonight.
The money to be approved tonight (which is more than it cost to build the stadium to begin with) includes the following expenditures:
Audio-visual: $4.4 million
Building system upgrades, including air-handling equipment, plumbing and boiler system: $18.1 million
Seating repairs and replacement: $15.4 million
Exterior finish: $2.4 million
Various equipment, including storage, trash bins and forklifts: $4.6 million
Food service equipment: $6.2 million
Handheld communications: $560,000
Interior finishes: $24.3 million
Video boards: $37.6 million
Sound systems: $5 million
Telecommunications: $1.8 million
Waterproofing: $5.8 million
“Other,” which includes parking lot and elevator maintenance: $21 million
In return, the City will get revenue from the naming rights to the stadium (nothing x nothing = nothing) and the revenue from signs in the parking lots.
With the patina of the Jaguars playoff season last year worn off in a disappointing losing season this year, and in light of the current economic crises, the lease amendment doesn’t sound like quite as good a deal (that is, if it ever did) for local taxpayers does it? But the Jacksonville Jaguars seem to hold the power over our City government despite our economic conditions.
The free tickets.
In the past, both the Mayor’s Office and City Council had their own free skyboxes to the game and just had to buy tickets – most of which were given to them for free, btw, until the skybox scandal hit the newspaper. With the new lease amendment, the skyboxes are a thing of the past, but the City will continue to receive ten free club seats under the terms of the modified lease. City officials want to be able to take companies that are considering relocating to Jacksonville to a Jaguars game. But if you were a company considering relocating here, wouldn’t you rather hear from a company that is actually located here about the benefits of doing business in Jacksonville than puffery coming from City officials? I am sure there are plenty of businesses that would love the opportunity to show the benefits of our fair city to potential relocating companies by taking them to a Jaguars game.
If the City is advertising job openings for good business negotiators who would run the City like a business, the Mayor need not apply.
Filed under: Jacksonville, Jacksonville City Council, Mayor of Jacksonville, Jacksonville City Council, Jacksonville Jaguars, Mayor John Peyton