TIAA Bank Field

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TIAA Bank Field
The Bank
TIAA Bank Field logo.png
TIAABANKJAX.jpg
Exterior view of the stadium in 2018.
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TIAA Bank Field
Location in Central Jacksonville
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TIAA Bank Field
Location in Florida
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TIAA Bank Field
Location in the United States
Former namesJacksonville Municipal Stadium (1995–96, 2007–10)
Alltel Stadium (1997–2006)
EverBank Field (2010–18)
Address1 TIAA Bank Field Dr
Jacksonville, FL 32202-1928
Location Stadium District
Coordinates 30°19′26″N81°38′15″W / 30.32389°N 81.63750°W / 30.32389; -81.63750 Coordinates: 30°19′26″N81°38′15″W / 30.32389°N 81.63750°W / 30.32389; -81.63750
Public transit BSicon MONO.svg Jacksonville Skyway
at Hemming Park
OwnerCity of Jacksonville
Operator SMG
Executive suites75 [1]
Capacity 67,814 (expandable to 82,000) [2]
SurfaceTifway 419 Bermuda Grass
Construction
Broke groundJanuary 3, 1994
OpenedAugust 18, 1995;24 years ago (1995-08-18)
Renovated2003–04, 2014, 2016
Construction costUS$121 million
($205 million in 2018 dollars [3] )
Architect HOK Sport
Structural engineerBliss and Nyitray, Inc
Services engineerM-E Engineers, Inc. [4]
General contractor Huber, Hunt & Nichols [1]
Tenants
Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL) (1995–present)
Gator Bowl (NCAA) (1996–present)
Jacksonville Armada FC (NASL) (2015)

TIAA Bank Field is an American football stadium located in Jacksonville, Florida, that primarily serves as the home facility of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). The stadium opened in 1995 as Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on the site of the old Gator Bowl Stadium (erected 1927), and included some portions of the older stadium. Located on the St. Johns River, it sits on 10 acres (4.0 ha) of land in downtown Jacksonville.

Contents

In addition to hosting the Jaguars, the stadium is also regularly used for college football, concerts, and other events. It is the regular site of the annual Florida–Georgia game, a college football rivalry game between the University of Florida and the University of Georgia. The stadium is also the home of the annual Gator Bowl, a post-season college bowl game. Additionally, the stadium hosted Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005 and is one of the venues used by the United States men's national soccer team.

From 1997 to 2006, the stadium was named Alltel Stadium after communications company Alltel purchased naming rights. The facility was renamed EverBank Field in 2010, following the approval of a five-year, naming rights deal with the financial services company EverBank. The agreement was extended in 2014 for an additional 10 years. [5] The Jaguars announced in February 2018 the stadium would be renamed TIAA Bank Field for the 2018 NFL season after EverBank was acquired by New York-based TIAA. [6]

Construction

TIAA Bank Field is located in the Stadium District of downtown Jacksonville, which has been home to football fields since the early 20th century. In 1928 the first permanent football stadium, Fairfield Stadium, was constructed. In 1948 this was expanded and renamed Gator Bowl Stadium, in honor of the annual Gator Bowl game first played two years earlier.

The current structure was built using a few portions of the historic Gator Bowl Stadium. However, all of the elements included from the older stadium — the pedestrian ramp system and the more recent West Upper Deck section of the complex — dated back only to 1982. Construction started January 3, 1994, and the new stadium opened on August 18, 1995, with an exhibition game with the St. Louis Rams. Total construction time was under 20 months and total cost was US$134 million – $60 million of which was provided by the city of Jacksonville.

Planning

In January 1993, representatives from the University of Florida and University of Georgia began negotiating with Jacksonville representatives to renew the contract to host the Florida–Georgia game, the annual rivalry game between the college football teams of the two universities. The universities' five-year contract with the Gator Bowl ended after the 1994 game, and the Citrus Bowl had offered Florida and Georgia a larger sum of money than the Gator Bowl for the right to host the game. [7]

To counter the Citrus Bowl's larger monetary offer, Jacksonville mayor Ed Austin proposed a $25.5 million renovation plan to Jacksonville's aging Gator Bowl Stadium, which had been built in 1949. Both teams had expressed concerns about the condition of the aging stadium, and renovations were considered key to enticing the teams to keep returning to Jacksonville, bringing tens of millions of dollars in consumer spending with them. [8] Despite the promise of renovations, Georgia athletic director Vince Dooley was unswayed, [9] so Austin widened the scope of the renovations, increasing their price tag to $49 million, and traveled to Athens, Georgia, to talk with Dooley in person. [10] Austin's campaigning was partially successful. On March 23, 1993, the two universities announced they had signed a five-year contract with the Gator Bowl, running from 1997 to 2002. The contract was contingent on Austin successfully passing the $49 million renovation bond issue through the Jacksonville City Council and the city completing the renovations by the 1996 game. [11] On Tuesday, May 11, the Jacksonville City Council approved a $219.5 million bond issue, including the $49 million for the renovation of the Gator Bowl. [12] [13]

NFL expansion

Soon after the approval of the bond issue, investors interested in attracting a new National Football League team to Jacksonville requested that another $30 million be added to the $49 million renovations in order to make the stadium more attractive for a professional team. [14] That number climbed higher throughout the summer, and eventually the city reached an agreement with the leading group of investors hoping to attract an NFL team to Jacksonville. On July 1, the city and investors reached a lease agreement contingent on the city investing $112.3 million for improving the Gator Bowl. [15] The lease agreement later collapsed when the Jacksonville City Council voted to send the lease back to a committee for further study rather than approving it. [16] One month after the proposed deal fell through, city officials and investors tried again and were successful in negotiating a deal that included a pledge to spend $121 million on renovations to the Gator Bowl. [17] Due to the expanded renovations, it was announced that the 1994 Florida-Georgia game would have to be moved out of the Gator Bowl, as had the 1995 game, in order to provide time for the newly expanded renovation plan to be completed before 1996. [18] In the end, the expanded bond issue and renovation program proved to be successful, as Jacksonville was awarded the 30th NFL franchise—the Jacksonville Jaguars—on November 30, 1993. [19]

Almost as soon as the celebration surrounding Jacksonville's new NFL team died down, however, a renovation contractor's plan to give 8% of the stadium work to minority-owned businesses drew criticism. The NAACP and another group said African-American businesses should have been awarded twice that amount of work. [20]

Current stadium

The stadium's re-opening day was also the home debut of the Jaguars during the 1995 NFL season. It was the first time that an expansion NFL team had played its first game in a new facility; they played the Houston Oilers in the opener and lost 103. The Gator Bowl returned as a New Year's Day bowl game on January 1, 1996, following the 1995 NCAA season.

The stadium contains 11,200 club seats, 88 luxury suites, and a "super suite". [1]

In 1997, the stadium changed its name to Alltel Stadium after naming rights were acquired by Alltel, a telecommunications company best known as a wireless carrier. The name Alltel Stadium stopped being used by the city after January 2007 when the contract expired; by that point, most of Alltel's assets had been purchased by Verizon.

Super Bowl XXXIX Superbowl XXXIX, 2005.JPG
Super Bowl XXXIX

In 2005, the stadium hosted Super Bowl XXXIX in which the New England Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24–21 in front of 78,125, the largest Super Bowl in attendance since 1994. Paul McCartney performed at halftime, performing Beatles classics "Drive My Car", "Get Back", and "Hey Jude", as well as a firework-filled "Live and Let Die". In 2003 and 2004, $47 million in improvements to the stadium were implemented to prepare for the Super Bowl. These improvements included the addition of a unique sports bar in the south end zone called the "Bud Zone", a larger and wider video and scoring display from Daktronics, escalators in the north and south end zone, and a new "terrace suite" called the "Sky Patio" right above the "Bud Zone" in the south end zone. [21]

TIAA Bank Field during the 10th anniversary of 9/11 US Navy 110911-N-YR391-035 Service members, firemen and police officers participate in a ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 1.jpg
TIAA Bank Field during the 10th anniversary of 9/11

Before the 2005 season, mainly due to low attendance figures and looming blackouts, team officials installed a series of tarps to reduce the seating capacity for Jaguars games. The covers were placed to block out seven sections in the upper north end zone and four in each upper deck section, located on the corners of each. This puts 9,703 seats out of service, leaving the stadium with 66,851 seats for the regular season. However, in the event the Jaguars make the AFC Championship Game, the stadium can easily be expanded to full capacity. Some believed that this was a sign that the city couldn't support an NFL team; the city is the second-smallest market in the league. However, the current capacity is actually very close to what Wayne Weaver included in his original proposal to bring the Gator Bowl up to NFL standards. The city council turned this plan down, mainly out of concern for not having enough seats to accommodate the annual Florida-Georgia game.

Despite the changes, however, blackouts have still occurred, including two of their first three home games in 2007 and nine of ten games in 2009. It is believed that the 2008 US financial crisis played a major part in the 2009 season blackouts,[ citation needed ] leading to insufficient ticket sales, with only the final home engagement of the regular season, with the Indianapolis Colts, managing to sell out. However, the Jaguars' 2010 season saw a huge turnaround in ticket sales, with no games being blacked out that year. The Jaguars avoided blackouts in all games in 2011 and 2012.

For the Super Bowl, Florida–Georgia game, and occasionally the Gator Bowl, temporary bleachers are put up in the south end zone and the tarps are removed, raising capacity to over 84,000.

The attendance record was set on September 29, 2007, when 85,413 watched Florida State defeat Alabama in what was dubbed the River City Showdown. [22] Each school received nearly 36,000 tickets, and the Gator Bowl Association added 5,800 seats. [23]

On July 26, 2010, naming rights to the stadium were bought by EverBank, [24] one of the nation's largest privately held bank holding companies with approximately $11.2 billion in assets. On August 10, the deal was officially approved by the Jacksonville City Council with a 14–3 vote. [25]

New scoreboard and party deck installed in 2014 EverBankFIeld2014.jpg
New scoreboard and party deck installed in 2014

In November 2013, Jacksonville's City Council approved $63 million in improvements to EverBank Field. Jaguars owner Shahid Khan helped finance $20 million of the cost. [26] Renovations included two end zone video scoreboards 362-foot-long that are the largest HD LED of their kind in the world, a platform area in the north end zone with two wading pools, unique food and beverage offerings, interactive activities, and 55,000 square feet of HD video screens, which is a world record for a stadium. [27] Construction of the platform resulted in the removal of approximately 7,000 seats, though temporary seating can be installed for major events that will require a larger stadium capacity. During the construction a live webcam was set up to view the progress of the new video scoreboards. [28] The scoreboards were publicly unveiled on July 26, 2014. [29]

In the middle of 2016, the Jaguars and the city of Jacksonville announced $90 million in improvements to the stadium. Phase 1 includes the improvements to club seating, sponsored by US Assure, new walkout patios at the 50-yard-line and the creation of a new south end zone tunnel that will be the new team entrance and create two new seating environments. Phase 2 includes the construction of an amphitheater (Daily's Place) and a covered flex field; both phases were completed in May 2017. [30]

After the successful 2017 season which saw the Jaguars return to the playoffs for the first time since the 2007 season and host a playoff game for the first time since 1999, the Jaguars announced the removal of last of the tarps on the upper levels. The removal adds 3,501 seats to the capacity of the stadium bringing total capacity to 67,814. [2]

Seating capacity

The seating capacity for Jaguars games has gone as followed:

YearsCapacity
1995–200173,000 [31]
2003–200476,877 [32]
2005–200967,164 [33]
2010–201367,246 [34]
201467,297 [35]
201566,851 [36]
2016–201764,428 [37]
2018–present67,814 [2]

Notable events

Concerts

DateArtistOpening act(s)Tour / Concert nameAttendanceRevenueNotes
November 12, 1997 U2 Third Eye Blind PopMart Tour
June 4, 1999 Shania Twain Leahy Come On Over Tour
May 23, 2001 NSYNC BBMak
3LW
Lil' Romeo
Tony Lucca
PopOdyssey 42,218 / 71,256$2,030,372Postponed from May 18. [38]
June 14, 2014 Jason Aldean Florida Georgia Line
Tyler Farr
Burn It Down Tour [39]
June 13, 2015 Zac Brown Band Jekyll and Hyde Tour These concerts were part of the Florida Country SuperFest.
June 14, 2015 Kenny Chesney Brantley Gilbert The Big Revival Tour
September 2, 2018 Lynyrd Skynyrd Kid Rock
Jason Aldean
The Charlie Daniels Band
Blackberry Smoke
the Marshall Tucker Band
The Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour [40]
July 19, 2019 The Rolling Stones The Revivalists No Filter Tour 50,358 / 50,358$10,198,392This concert was originally scheduled to take place on April 24, 2019 but was postponed due to Mick Jagger recovering from a heart procedure. [41]
August 6, 2020 Green Day
Fall Out Boy
Weezer
The Interrupters Hella Mega Tour TBATBA

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References

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  4. "Sports". M-E Engineers, Inc. Archived from the original on January 15, 2002.
  5. "EverBank, Jaguars extend stadium naming rights agreement". Jacksonville Jaguars. July 25, 2014. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  6. Heilman, Phillip (February 16, 2018). "New name for Jaguars' stadium: TIAA Bank Field". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  7. Snook, Jeff. "UF-Georgia negotiations start today", The Palm Beach Post . January 12, 1993. Page C1.
  8. Florida Sun-Sentinel staff reports. "College Football", South Florida Sun-Sentinel . January 22, 1993. Page C2.
  9. Palm Beach Post staff reports. "Georgia may move '96 game to Athens", The Palm Beach Post . February 18, 1993. Page C8.
  10. Sun-Sentinel staff and wire reports. "Sports in brief", South Florida Sun-Sentinel . March 4, 1993. Page C2.
  11. Dame, Mike. "Florida-Georgia moving for '95", The Orlando Sentinel . March 23, 1993. Page D1.
  12. The Associated Press. "Gator Bowl gets funds for repairs", St. Petersburg Times . May 12, 1993. Page C6.
  13. Harry, Chris. "Gator Bowl plan OK'd to delight of UF, Georgia", The Tampa Tribune . May 12, 1993. Page Sports 5.
  14. Tampa Tribune staff. "Pro football", Tampa Tribune. May 14, 1993. Page Sports 2.
  15. Banks, Don. "NFL expansion a fleeting dream for Jacksonville", St. Petersburg Times . July 2, 1993. Page C1.
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  29. Bibber, Ryan Van (July 27, 2014). "Jaguars unveil world's largest scoreboards at EverBank Field". SB Nation.
  30. Jaguars and city of Jacksonville unveil totally reimagined US Assure Club at EverBank Field August 1, 2016
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Events and tenants
Preceded by
Inaugural venue
Home of the
Jacksonville Jaguars

1995 – present
Succeeded by
Current
Preceded by
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Host of the
TaxSlayer Bowl

1995 – present
Succeeded by
Current
Preceded by
Reliant Stadium
Host of the Super Bowl
2005 (XXXIX)
Succeeded by
Ford Field
Preceded by
first stadium
Host of the
ACC Championship Game

2005–2007
Succeeded by
Raymond James Stadium
Preceded by
Mile High Stadium
Host of AFC Championship Game
2000
Succeeded by
Network Associates Coliseum