SMG Wins Out Over Global Spectrum In EverBank Field Management Contract
SMG, the company that has managed EverBank Field “for the past 20 years, will keep its contract to run city facilities after slashing its fee from almost $1 million to $100,000,” according to Timothy Gibbons of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown last Saturday announced that the company “signed a three-year agreement with the city,” and will be able to earn "an additional $100,000 in incentives on top of its base fee.” SMG will give the city “an open-ended $1 million grant and establish a $500,000 fund to attract and promote events at city facilities.” In addition to its management fee, SMG will have “exclusive rights to provide food, beverage and other concessions at the city facilities, for which it will earn 4.5 percent of gross sales and 2.5 percent of net operating income.” The company “guarantees the city $1.6 million a year in net profits from concessions and will pay $100,000 to upgrade the food service operation at the arena.” The Jaguars in May said they “wanted SMG to keep the job,” but the city’s selection committee in August chose Global Spectrum despite an SMG protest. However, the team’s contract with the city says both parties have to agree on who will run the stadium.” Jaguars Owner Shad Khan said that finalizing the deal with SMG is the “first step in enhancing the fans’ experience” at EverBank, with other announcements “in the works.” SMG “fought hard for the contract.” SMG Senior VP/Stadiums & Arenas Doug Thornton acknowledged that the “new rates are ‘aggressive.’" He called the higher price tag the company had been paid the result of "a different era." SMG’s new contract will begin Jan. 1 and “run through February 2016, with an option for two one-year extensions” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 12/23).