SBD/June 21, 2013/Facilities

City Of Jacksonville Mulls How To Pay Its Share Of EverBank Field Upgrades

EverBank Field renovation funds could come from Jacksonville's hotel bed tax
The city of Jacksonville “has to figure out how it will pay" for its $43M share of the $63M renovation proposed for EverBank Field “before the world’s biggest scoreboards light up,” according to David Bauerlein of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. City of Jacksonville Communications Dir David DeCamp on Thursday said that the city “has the ability to borrow enough money to pay for the work, but administrators are still determining what source of funding will repay the debt.” After Mayor Alvin Brown “puts forward a financing plan, he still must win City Council approval during the summer budget hearings.” Most of the “half dozen council members interviewed Thursday were open to the proposal, though they wanted more details about the financing plan.” City Council President Bill Bishop said, “We have to stay current. We have to be sure we’re competitive, not only in the NFL but in the world. This is all part of moving Jacksonville forward.” DeCamp added that “all options are on the table,” and the city “can take on the debt for stadium work without squeezing out other construction projects.” One funding source “could be the city’s hotel bed tax.” The 6% tax “currently is split three ways to promote tourism, pay debt on the stadium, and do maintenance of buildings at the sports complex.” But if the city “used the bed tax for the scoreboard and fan zone, it would siphon money from doing a long list of stadium maintenance upgrades” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 6/21).
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