Roger Goodell recently met with Jacksonville leadership on stadium renovations

roger goodell recently met with jacksonville leadership on stadium renovations

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Commissioner Roger Goodell was in Jacksonville on Monday for the Bengals-Jaguars game. He also visited with key Jacksonville politicians whose fingers are on or close to the pursestrings for the public portion of a $2 billion stadium renovation.

Via David Bauerlein of the Florida Times-Union, Goodell met with Jacksonville mayor Donna Deegan and Jacksonville city council president Ron Salem.

Phillip Perry, the mayor’s spokesman, said it was a chance for Goodell, Deegan, and Salem to “get to know each other better.”

“They both expressed their desire to get to ‘yes’ on a deal that is good for Jacksonville and the Jaguars but did not discuss any specifics in relation to negotiations,” Perry said.

Salem explained that he communicated to Goodell and the Jaguars that “the council needs 60 days to put this through a normal process.”

“This is too important to do anything less than the regular six-week cycle plus some extra time to help educate the public and maybe some [community] huddles as they did before,” Salem said.

Deegan seems supportive of the injection of $1 billion or so in taxpayer money for the renovation project, regardless of whether the public at large would support such an expenditure if it were on a ballot. (In most cities, the electorate would not approve the use of taxpayer funding for sports venues.) Salem might be supportive as well, but his comments suggest that he’s committed to conducting a fair and proper process.

The Jaguars want to have a deal in place by the second quarter of 2024, so construction can begin in early 2026 and finished in time for the 2028 season.

Obviously, failure to do what the Jaguars want will risk relocation by the team to a community that will. It has happened repeatedly during the NFL’s century of existence. The threat is so clear that it no longer needs to be made.

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