The Jacksonville Jaguars have unveiled a concept for the stadium of the future - a project that has been almost three years in the making and is connected to the transformation of this part of Jacksonville. Fan surveys and years of preparation have resulted in the renovation plan now being known.
Friendly solutions to an unfriendly climate
The flexibility of the stands of the so-called Stadium of the Future will allow a base capacity of 62,000 with the possibility of expanding to 71,500 seats for a college football game and even more for a concert. The venue will be able to change its appearance with lighting and digital technology to create a distinctive unique atmosphere on match day. Using a first-of-its-kind mirrored material, the energy-efficient façade will reflect the waterfront, vegetation and the unique spirit of Jacksonville. The facility is expected to feature a large canopy that will reduce heat by more than 70 per cent, lower temperatures by 10-15 degrees and protect fans from inclement weather.
The facade will be raised at the north and south ends to optimise airflow, allowing the entire stadium to be cooled. The venue will feature terraces, offering views across the city, and the roof membrane will bring diffused light into the arena. The new stadium design takes into account the crucial fans' needs - the area of the main hall will increase by 185%. There will be 13 new lifts and 32 moving staircases, 220 food and beverage outlets and 14 toilets.
It's not just the stadium that will benefit
Drawing inspiration from Jacksonville's rich lush landscapes - biking and walking trails, parks, greenways, beaches and marshes - the project captures the essence of Florida. Fans will enter through a sub-tropical park, leading them to the main hall, which will be approximately 10 metres above the ground, offering sweeping views of downtown Jacksonville and the St. Johns River. The hall will feature bars and a variety of unique amenities - all of which are expected to be closely tied to Jacksonville's culture.
The construction will generate thousands of jobs and, once completed, the stadium will become a desirable destination for both residents and visitors to Jacksonville, which was rated earlier this year as the No. 5 city in the US described as 'Boomtowns'. The Jaguars and the City of Jacksonville realised this potential long ago and began work on a long-term solution in July 2020 with a thorough engineering assessment of the current stadium, TIAA Bank Field. The assessment concluded that it would be more beneficial to renovate the city-owned facility than to build a new arena.
This was followed by an in-depth survey of fans and other key stakeholders, as well as a process to select a design partner. Once the design team, HOK Sports + Recreation + Entertainment, was decided upon, they worked together to transform the concept into more definitive plans for the renovation.
This transformation goes beyond the boundaries of the stadium. The design creates an accessible community area that connects the surrounding neighbourhoods and the riverfront, - Peter Broeder, HOK's lead designer, said. The approximate cost of a major renovation of TIAA Bank Field could be as much as $1.4 billion. The Jaguars have outlined a timeline that would see the redeveloped stadium ready for football in 2028.