Poll: 56% public support for Jaguars stadium, community package deal

The University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab found 56% public support for the Jaguars’ stadium renovations and community benefits agreement with the City of Jacksonville in a survey that polled 667 registered Duval County voters, unveiled Tuesday.

“A new poll of Duval County registered voters from the Public Opinion Research Lab (PORL) at the University of North Florida shows a majority are supportive of the proposed stadium renovations agreement, but are opposed to the level of public spending on the construction costs for stadium renovations,” the polling data read.

“Respondents are largely persuaded, however, by the addition of a Community Benefits Agreement to invest in the area around the stadium and across the county.”

When those polled were asked whether they support or oppose the full public expenditure of $925 million on stadium renovations and community investment, 56% expressed support, with 43% opposed.

The City of Jacksonville (public expenditure) and the Jaguars have agreed to each contribute $625 million to the budget for stadium construction, with the city tacking on $150 million for deferred capital and maintenance/start-up expenses. The Jaguars will be responsible for stadium cost overruns.

The city and Jaguars agreed to combine to invest $300 million — $150 million each, upfront from the city and over time from the team — in ongoing, targeted community initiatives, including OUTEAST neighborhood community development, countywide workforce development, park development and conversion, and affordable housing/homelessness.

Public funding for only the stadium received 41% approval and 58% disapproval with one percent undecided or having refused to answer. For only the community benefits agreement, public funding received 81% support and 17% opposition.

“This historic investment between the City and Jaguars responds to the feedback we heard during months of community huddles in 2023 and conversations over many years. The community benefits agreement is an integral component of the overall package providing a smart way to get long overdue key investments done now that will positively impact all residents,” the Jaguars and the City of Jacksonville said in a statement after the poll was released.

“The respondents see the wisdom of making the city investment up front, which will pay dividends over decades to come. It locks in construction contracts before prices increase. The significant long-term financial support from the Jaguars will sustain these programs over time. It’s a win-win. We urge the Jacksonville City Council to approve this once-in-a-generation investment in raising the quality of life for everyone in Duval County without raising taxes.”

The following timeline for the stadium renovations was included in the agreement:

  • Potential final Jacksonville City Council vote: June 25, 2024

  • NFL owners approval: Oct. 2024

  • Construction begins: Feb. 2025

  • 2025 season: In Jacksonville with 60K+ stadium capacity

  • 2026 season: In Jacksonville with approximately 43.5K stadium capacity

  • 2027 season: Away from Jacksonville

  • Renovations complete and facility opening: Aug. 2028

Find all publicly available details about the EverBank Stadium renovation proposal here.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire