The Jacksonville Jaguars are planning a multi-billion dollar renovation to TIAA Bank Field. A taxpayer-friendly upgrade to the stadium is something Jacksonville desperately needs and would quit any talks about the small-market Jags potentially relocating to London.
As great as a new stadium will be, it will displace the Jaguars for a season, possibly two, while construction is ongoing. This could be a potential turnoff when you take into account that the Jags could make some serious noise in the upcoming years. But looking around North/Central Florida for stadiums they could use, these are the best options.
Stadium Option 1 for the Jaguars: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida.
The Former Citrus Bowl is the largest outdoor stadium in Central Florida. Built in 1936 and last renovated in 2021, it has 60,000 sellable seats. It hosted the Pro Bowl from 2017-2020, the Orlando City FC, and the Orlando Guardians of the XFL.
Just two hours from TIAA Bank Field, it's the best option for a relatively close interim stadium. It will get the job done and expose the Jaguars to the largest media market without an NFL team currently. As a city, Orlando is more capable of accommodating the influx of Jaguars fans, even making it a destination for weekend vacations.
Stadium Option 2 for the Jaguars: Ben Hill Griffen Stadium, Gainsville, FL
Built back in 1930, The Florida Gators football stadium often holds 90,000 people at games. It is 89 miles from the Bank, Several current Jaguars played college ball there and know the stadium well.
Two issues stand out with the Gainsville option; first, not only is it an hour and a half from the Bank, it's an hour and a half from everywhere in Florida. Second is the turnaround from Saturday's Gator game, with 90,000 people attending, to host the Jaguar's NFL game the next day. That will be difficult for the staff and crew at The Swamp.
Stadium Option 3 for the Jaguars: UNF's Hodges Stadium, Jacksonville, FL
There is another football stadium in Jacksonville at the University of North Florida. However, it's barely equipped to be a practice field for an NFL Team. Renovating it now to make it suitable would cost an additional $130 million at least.
Stadium Option 4 for the Jaguars: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL
Home of the Daytona 500 is by far the most interesting of the options. Daytona Beach is less than an hour from Jacksonville and Orlando. At 2.5 miles around, there is plenty of space for the Feild, locker rooms, and everyone to park. Two hundred thousand attend Nascar's biggest event, so infrastructure and traffic won't be an issue.
It's exciting and may even be a little intriguing, but it's doubtful the NFL would be OK with a stadium you can tailgate in. Sunday's at a Jacksonville Jaguars game would turn into the infield at the Kentucky Derby. Cheap tickets, bringing in your own beers, campfires, and BBQ pits during the game. It could be out of control or the kind of thing the Jaguars need to boost their market and team interest.
Potential issues are the stadium seating would only provide around 10,000 good viewable seats; the Rolex 24 race in late January could force a possible home playoff game away. Start your engines, Jaguars fans; it could be a good and memorable season as the Daytona Beach Jaguars.