The Jacksonville Jaguars broke ground on a much-anticipated amphitheater Friday and released new renderings of the venue.
The 6,000-seat, multi-purpose structure will provide a middle ground between Jacksonville’s 10,000-seat Veterans Memorial Arena and St. Johns County’s 4,000-seat St. Augustine Amphitheater.
The city has shuttered the Metropolitan Park Amphitheater over stability concerns, making the forthcoming Daily’s Place amphitheater, sponsored by Daily’s convenience stores, the only game in town.
Jaguars President Mark Lamping said the venue will breathe more life into downtown.
“We’re able to really take advantage of a lot of existing infrastructure that’s in place. So, from that perspective, it’s not only going to have a big impact, but we think it’s really an efficient approach to adding a major public gathering place in downtown Jacksonville,” Lamping said.
It’s part of a $90 million project that includes a practice field and stadium upgrades, for which the city is paying half with a portion of bed tax revenue devoted to stadium construction and maintenance. The city will own the amphitheatre and lease it to the Jaguars, taking in fees from ticket sales and parking.
But critics of the project say the city should’ve negotiated a deal with higher revenue potential and the money could be better spent on other tourism-related projects like upgrading the Prime Osborn Convention Center. The City Council passed an ordinance in 2009 earmarking part of the local bed tax for sports venues. But they could pass another ordinance rerouting the funds.
The new amphitheater is set to be completed in May and should start hosting events soon thereafter.
View the full rendering video here: