SBJ/April 10-16, 2017/Facilities

Jaguars have 19 shows booked for new amphitheater

Don Muret
The Jacksonville Jaguars are the newest NFL team to become a concert promoter as part of their new amphitheater/practice field.

As of last week, Bold Events, a partnership between the Jaguars and Live Nation, had booked 19 shows, about halfway toward its goal of holding 40 concerts this year at Daily’s Place, the 5,500-seat outdoor venue under construction just south of EverBank Field.

The team shares the financial risk with Live Nation for co-promoting events, said Mark Lamping, president of the Jaguars and Bold Events. The deal is not an exclusive, but Live Nation will book the majority of dates, Lamping said.

The project was driven by the Jaguars’ desire to find new revenue streams in one of the NFL’s smallest markets, and to help redevelop Jacksonville’s waterfront near the stadium. The city’s corporate base is small, and the Jags play in one of the league’s older buildings. They turned to live music as a solution.

“We felt there was a need in the market for a midsize music venue and felt with our ticket sales and sponsorship groups, we had the capacity to do it internally,” Lamping said. “We thought it would be a good complementary business to the football team.”

A rendering shows the amphitheater, to be housed with a practice field.
Rendering: COURTESY OF JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS


The Jaguars shared the investment to build the amphitheater equally with the city of Jacksonville, the stadium’s owner. The construction cost is folded into a total of $90 million in stadium-related upgrades, including club lounge improvements and the “flex field,” the term for the indoor practice space.

Lamping said the idea to incorporate the flex field into the design came after talks between the team and the city for how to create other uses for the building. The Jaguars turned to sports architect Populous to carry out their vision for the combined facility.

The indoor football field sits backstage at Daily’s Place. The roof covering the entire structure is made of lightweight structural steel and PTFE fabric, similar to the material used to build the new retractable roof at the U.S. Tennis Association’s Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The slopes in the roof design mimic the bridges crossing the St. Johns River visible from the stadium, said Jonathan Mallie, a principal with Populous and its director of the New York office.

The amphitheater’s dimensions, coincidentally, are almost identical to those of Radio City Music Hall, except that it has two balconies, one fewer than the New York theater, Lamping said. In Jacksonville, the balconies connect by a bridge to the stadium’s Bud Light Zone and Terrace Suite Level, and both hospitality areas will be open during concerts. The sides of the amphitheater are open to the elements, but unlike most outdoor concert venues, it’s all fixed seats and there is no grass berm for general admission. In that respect, it’s more of a performing arts center, Lamping said.

As part of their deal with the city, the Jaguars received a 30-year lease to operate the facility and in turn reached an agreement with SMG to run the amphitheater, pending a signed contract, he said. SMG already runs EverBank Field and the city’s other sports venues.

Daily’s Place, named for the regional convenience store chain and team sponsor that acquired the venue’s naming rights, opens May 27 with the Tedeschi Trucks Band. The group’s Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks live in Jacksonville and are Jaguars season-ticket holders.

“It was a natural to have them open the building,” Lamping said.

More concerts will be scheduled for the nights before Jaguars home games after the NFL releases its 2017 schedule in the coming weeks, he said.

> TINGLE TOWN: Sports architect Tom Tingle has joined DLR Group as its client leader, managing projects on behalf of the firm’s designers.

Tingle, most recently with Skanska, a sports construction firm, will work out of his new employer’s Kansas City office.

DLR Group’s current projects include the renovation of Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; infield upgrades at Phoenix International Raceway; Phoenix Rising, a temporary USL soccer facility in Tempe; and renovations to Davenport Field, the University of Virginia’s baseball stadium.

Don Muret can be reached at dmuret@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @breakground.

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