Jacksonville Mayor Looks To Add Entertainment District To City's Sports Complex
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is eyeing an "entire entertainment district" in the complex that houses all of the city's sports venues, according to a front-page piece by David Bauerlein of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. Details are "sketchy about what an entertainment district would entail and its exact location in connection with the the downtown-area complex that’s home to EverBank Field, Veterans Memorial Arena, the Baseball Grounds, and the newly opened Daily’s Place amphitheater." A growing number of cities have used sports venues as "anchors for building clusters of restaurants, shops and bars where fans can gather before and after games for food, drinks and entertainment." Jacksonville Sports Council President & CEO Rick Catlett said, "We’re way behind what other cities with NFL teams and major sports complexes are doing." Jaguars Owner Shad Khan and his exec team have been "talking with Curry about development concepts." Curry in July joined Jaguars President Mark Lamping for a tour that visited K.C., St. Louis and Baltimore, three of the cities where Cordish Cos. has "developed entertainment districts, usually in partnership with cities and sports franchises." Cordish has been a "pace-setter in building entertainment districts near crowd-attracting venues," including K.C. Live, Ballpark Village (St. Louis), Texas Live (Arlington) and Xfinity Live (Philadelphia). Jacksonville is in talks with Iguana Investments Florida, which is controlled by Khan, about a "contract for Iguana to be master developer for the swath of city-owned riverfront land that contains The Shipyards and Metropolitan Park (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 12/26).