- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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NFL fans who automatically say “tarps” when they hear “Jaguars” won’t like this news. But those fans are unlikely to let it get in the way of their Jaguars-as-a-punch-line thinking.
The Jaguars announced an agreement with the city of Jacksonville on Wednesday for $63 million worth of enhancements to EverBank Field. It is a flashing signal that says the team is not leaving town anytime soon.
Two new end zone video boards will be the largest of their kind in the world and will be ready for the 2014 preseason. A new north end zone area will make the building feel a lot more like Florida.
The breakdown of how it will be paid for:
Jacksonville will fund the total estimated $36.4 million from capital project funding to build a north end zone fan engagement area as well as the necessary infrastructure and control room to support the video scoreboards at both ends of the stadium.
The Jaguars will fund 75 percent of the estimated $26.5 million for the new video scoreboards, with Jacksonville funding the remaining 25 percent from capital project funding.
The Jaguars will serve as construction manager with responsibilities for any cost overruns.
Any project savings will be earmarked for additional improvements at EverBank Field.
Owner Shad Khan has already spent $10 million on the team’s facilities at EverBank Field. The team has a spacious, state of the art locker room. The training room is being rebuilt. There is a new weight room and renovations to the administrative offices. And the Jaguars scoreboard spending will boost the owner’s total investment to $30 million.
“I think this is about we want to earn the fans' support,” Khan told Jacksonville media. “We’re not taking anything for granted. We’re out there day in and day out really earning fan support. I know it’s really important to win on the field so early on in the year we did a lot obviously under Dave (Caldwell) and Gus (Bradley’s) leadership. We’re investing in the team in many, many different ways but you have to win on the field and off the field.”
Who’s spending that kind of money and working so hard for good will with his city in order to leave?