Oct. 02–Mayor Alvin Brown announced a plan Wednesday to use hotel bed taxes to pay the city’s share of $63 million in EverBank Field renovations.
“EverBank Field is one of Jacksonville’s most important economic development assets,” Brown said in making the announcement. “This agreement will make make our National Football League stadium a world-class facility.”
City Council would have to approve the financing arrangement. It would not use any money from the city’s general fund, which pays for the day-to-day operating costs of running city services.
Brown and the Jaguars previously announced a plan in June for $63 million in EverBank Field renovations that would install gigantic video boards at the end zone sides of the stadium, seven LED board displays around the stadium, and a fan zone with swimming pools in the north end of the stadium.
But Brown did not say at the time how the city would pay its $43 million share of the cost. One option that has been considered is using a portion of the city’s 6-cent hotel bed tax.
The city currently uses 2 cents of the bed tax to pay off debt associated with construction of the stadium and another 2 cents of the tax to pay for maintenance and upgrades of EverBank Field, the baseball park, and the arena.
The remaining 2 cents goes toward promoting tourism and would not be affected by the stadium renovation financing plan..
Rick Catlett, president and CEO of the Gator Bowl Association, joined Brown and Lamping at the Wednesday news conference.