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Stadium Renovations Open Endless Possibilities

Jun 28, 2013 -- 8:53am

By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)

The proposed renovations to EverBank Field are just part of what Shad Khan has all along been trying to bring to Jacksonville in terms of a “total” fan experience.

I applaud his efforts and hope the $63 million effort to build new stadium end zone screens will enhance the football experience and add to the ambiance of Jaguars football.

But in all honesty, the ideas of building a better football team cannot end there. It cannot end with some new decorations to the stadium or the outer appearance of EverBank for “curb appeal.”  If this were a renovations project seen on HDTV or one of the famous cable networks, there would be a cry for other amenities to spruce up the property.

Khan’s start is great. Now, let’s see what else he has in store for us.

I am all for making the football game day experience one that kids and adults never forget. The “NFL Play 60” program along with honoring the men and women of the Armed Forces is such a big part of this town it is welcomed. Family-friendly areas of the stadium are going to be constructed so more children have an entertaining day in the sun and “on the river.” I get it, I understand it. I know there is talk of a practice bubble for inclement weather and hopefully the renovations to the locker rooms and workout facilities are not the only things Khan sees in the horizon. It’s his crystal ball and we all hope he is the magnificent “Oz” behind the curtain.

I am not clicking my cleats three times and making a wish, but here is what I want to happen in the coming years from Khan’s great ideas and willingness to improve the stadium atmosphere.

  • More professional events. Soccer was a big component of this town when no other sports team was here. The Tea Men won the citiy's only professional championship before any other sport came to town. MLS soccer can work here and we would welcome it.
  • A real push to get other college football games here as a neutral site. Miami/FSU would be ideal. Maybe an SEC Title game as the championship should rotate year by year. I also think the National Title game is a real possibility.
  • International events. World Cup soccer. Maybe WrestleMania (that one is for Hacker).

 

If Khan completes his tasks and then stops growing to bigger and better things, then the success we have already enjoyed is lost. That cannot work in this city. We have been let down in the recent years because of a subpar product. If we are winning on the field, the success off the field should continue as well. Bigger is better in this case and with Khan and the city behind the improvements, there is no reason to think the smaller media market like ours won’t thrive.

It’s time for all of us to get on this bus and see where it takes us. If the free-thinking Khan is as forward thinking as he is proving to be, these goals should not be hard to reach.

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