Should city invest in Jaguars' scoreboards?

February, 6, 2013
2/06/13
11:11
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Having the league’s biggest scoreboards would help make EverBank Field much more of a destination, the Jaguars believe.

But how would they pay for them and when would the concept for them that the Jaguars unveiled Tuesday actually come to life?

Vito Stellino explored those questions in the Florida Times-Union.

If quick financing could be arranged, we could see the boards this fall.

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Should the city of Jacksonville pay for the video screens proposed by the Jaguars at a cost of nearly $50 million?

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Houston’s new boards at Reliant Stadium will go up this offseason. If and when the Jaguars get theirs, the AFC South would boast three of the four largest boards in the NFL and four of the top nine.

The Jacksonville boards would cost close to $50 million.

I’m great at spending other people’s money. Stellino points out that Jacksonville libraries are having financial issues; I’d propose that owner Shad Khan finance the new screens.

That’s not how things generally work, however.

From Stellino:
"(Team president Mark) Lamping said that if they can finalize a deal with the city, which owns the stadium and would be responsible for paying for the scoreboards, in 60 to 90 days, the scoreboards could be installed by this fall. They would be about 52 feet high and 348 feet wide.

"At a time when the city is cutting library hours and the buying of books for the libraries, the negotiations could be difficult, but Lamping said the team hopes to come up with creative financing that includes using the money generated by the stadium.

"He said the original model when the Gator Bowl was rebuilt for $121 million in 1994-1995 was to pour back revenues created by the stadium into stadium upgrades."

I’m guessing it’s hardly that simple, and that stadium revenues are already accounted for. But the Jaguars did well to generate some excitement for the idea that could prompt the city to strike a deal with the team to make it happen.

Should they?

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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