The Jacksonville Jaguars could be looking for a new home for two years while they go through renovations to TIAA Bank Field.
“The goal would be to play somewhere in Jacksonville,” Jacksonville mayor Lenny Curry said on the Wednesday edition of XL Primetime. “Those discussions are happening, but two years is the goal. … I do know that they are considering certain sites that are local that could accommodate them for at least two years.”
.@lennycurry says that the @Jaguars would play in town while the stadium is renovated on XL Primetime
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— 1010 XL / 92.5 FM (@1010XL) May 10, 2023
The Jaguars, who were the comeback team of the year last season, are a team on the rise. All it took was firing Urban Meyer after not even one season and hiring Super Bowl winning coach Doug Pederson. In Pederson’s one season he took the Jaguars to the playoffs, winning a thriller against the San Diego Chargers in the Wild Card round, but then losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional round.
Going into the 2023 season, there’s bound to be excitement from fans around Duval County for the first time in a long time. But now hearing they may have to be find a new place to chant “DUUUUVAAALLLL” for the 2025 and 2026 seasons, is a little bit of a buzz kill.
Fans are, obviously, handling it well.
Where in the hell in Jax would they play? What’s the next biggest stadium to the bank?
— Richard (@Richard41180235) May 10, 2023
Talk about putting the City of Jacksonville and the fans balls in a vice! One thing should be made certain in New Stadium negotiation No more relocation Talk #Jaguars
— Jeff Moore (@PETE4192) May 10, 2023
If the #Jaguars have to relocate & play in another stadium for 2+ years I may just lose my mental stability for a bit
I will just be heartbroken, words won’t even describe it honestly
— Brett James (@thebrettjames1) May 10, 2023
While in the long-term fans will potentially like the renovations, not being able to see their team play in their home stadium is bound to cause a stir, especially if the Jaguars are competing for championships by that point. Imagine hanging an AFC Championship or Super Bowl banner not in your home stadium. Imagine seeing Trevor Lawrence in the prime of his career playing in a 20,000-30,000 seat stadium. It’d be similar to what the Los Angeles Chargers were doing, playing in a soccer stadium that held 27,000 people while waiting on SoFi Stadium to be built.
But where in the Jacksonville area would they play?
The largest stadium within a reasonable distance (10.7 miles), would be Hodges Stadium, a multi-purpose stadium for the University of North Florida, David Bauerlein of the Florida Times-Union suggested. The problem is it only holds 12,000 people. The most likely of scenarios is that the Jaguars take home field to Gainesville, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, home of the Florida Gators. It’s feasible, being that it would only be 74 miles from TIAA Bank Field. That, or one of the two stadiums in Orlando, Camping World Stadium and Fbc Mortgage Stadium.
Nothing is official yet, as Curry’s comments were the first of its kind about the renovations.
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