5 stadiums that could host Jaguars during TIAA Bank Field renovation
The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the lookout for a stadium that can be their temporary home in future seasons, according to Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry.
In an interview with 1010XL on Wednesday, Curry said that renovations of TIAA Bank Field could happen in 2025 and 2026, and the Jaguars will likely need to find a temporary home elsewhere while the construction is ongoing.
While Curry said that the Jaguars hope to keep the games in Jacksonville, that plan doesn’t exactly seem feasible. No stadium in the city outside of TIAA Bank Field can even seat 10,000 fans for a football game.
So if the Jaguars really do need to find a temporary home two years from now, where could it be? Here are the five most logical options:
Camping World Stadium (Orlando, Fla.)
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Previously known as the Citrus Bowl, the stadium has hosted a handful of Pro Bowls and a whole lot of college football in its nearly 90-year history.
With a capacity of 60,219 for football games, it’d be the smallest stadium in use for NFL games if the Jaguars opted to play there for a couple years. But that’s a more than reasonable number and not that far off from TIAA Bank Field’s capacity of 67,814.
The stadium in Orlando is about a two-hour drive south from Jacksonville, and seems to be the likeliest site for the Jaguars.
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (Gainesville, Fla.)
Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun
From a distance perspective, “The Swamp” is the logical choice. It’s just a hour and a half drive southwest and boasts a massive capacity of 88,548.
The catch is that the massive bowl of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium would offer very little in terms of luxury boxes. It could be logistically challenging for the NFL to work with a stadium in Gainesville where hotel space and flights are much less accessible than they are in Jacksonville and Orlando.
And unlike Camping World Stadium, a deal with the University of Florida will have to brokered to make this scenario work.
FBC Mortgage Stadium (Orlando, Fla.)
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After nearly three decades at the aforementioned Citrus Bowl, the UCF Knights moved to the newly constructed “Bounce House” in 2007.
Like Camping World Stadium, it’s a two-hour drive from Jacksonville. But unlike its Orlando neighbor, FBC Mortgage Stadium has about 70 years less wear and tear.
The problem is that it seats just 45,301, well below the size of a typical NFL stadium. That’s still much larger than Dignity Health Sports Park, which temporarily housed the Los Angeles Chargers, but the NFL will presumably want the Jaguars to avoid a smaller stadium, if possible.
Doak Campbell Stadium (Tallahassee, Fla.)
Photo illustration by Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat
The home of the Florida State Seminoles would probably be among the last resorts for the Jaguars if they can’t work out a deal with the first three options.
It’s a nearly three-hour drive west from Jacksonville and offers most of the same pros and cons of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium with a capacity of 79,560.
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Here’s a scenario that would undoubtedly leave the Jaguars with livid fans in Jacksonville.
The NFL could get a test run of having a team based overseas by having the Jaguars spend two seasons in their home away from home in the United Kingdom. With construction underway at TIAA Bank Field, there would be no reason to suspect the experiment was a stepping stone toward relocation of the Jaguars. And it’d give the team an iconic, 86,000-seat stadium in London to make its temporary home base.
But the negative is obvious: the Jacksonville Jaguars wouldn’t play a home game within 4,000 miles of Jacksonville for more than two years. They’d return to a state-of-the-art stadium, but fans in North Florida would have every reason to resent Shad Khan for his decision to take the team elsewhere for two years.