A quarter century after taking the field, the Jacksonville Jaguars are pursuing economic goals and facing financial and brick-and-mortar hurdles.
The NFL franchise was awarded in 1993 and began play in 1995.
Jacksonville Jaguars President Mark Lamping discussed those challenges during an interview Monday with WJCT News news partner the Jacksonville Daily Record, including what improvements are needed at TIAA Bank Field as the team enters the final 10 years of its stadium lease with the city.
Lamping said those conversations with city officials have begun, and the Jaguars are conducting an internal review of the stadium’s needs.
“We know that one of the most important discussions we’ll have with the city as we prepare to extend that lease is what is the plan for the stadium,” Lamping said.
Lamping, 61, has been president of the Jaguars since February 2012. Before coming to Jacksonville, he was CEO of New Meadowlands Stadium Co., where he ran MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, home of the New York Jets and New York Giants football teams.
Lamping and Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s desire to shield fans from the heat and sun at the stadium is well known. That issue was raised in a January panel discussion hosted by Northbank and Southbank residents group The Downtown Dwellers.
He reiterated Monday that the east side of the stadium is particularly vulnerable to the sun.
Lamping also said the stadium’s concourses need to be widened, which he says are narrow compared with other NFL stadiums.
Another concern for the Jaguars is the stadium’s “vertical transportation” to make it easier to move between levels.
The Jaguars also will be looking for updates to security and technology.
Lamping declined to comment about specific solutions before the Jaguars’ full assessment was complete.
Lamping had more to say about the stadium’s future and the Lot J/Shipyards $2.5 billion development plan, saying, "we're closer than we've ever been."
To read more, see the expanded version of this story at JaxDailyRecord.com.