Jaguars fans got a look Thursday at what the team has in store for next season, including more changes inside the stadium and long-term plans for a major development of the Shipyards property and beyond near the stadium.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan, President Mark Lamping and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin each shared their vision for the future at the annual Jaguars State of the Franchise, some points which have been a long time in the making.
"All of the major things that we announced today were things that we've been working on for years," Lamping said. "We're really fortunate as we have made these huge investments in the facilities and added infrastructure. Now the team is performing well and we're in a position to take full advantage of that."
The focus, at least in the near-term, for development around the stadium has shifted from the Shipyards to development of Lot J, to the southwest of the stadium.
"We want to focus on what we can control and really work with the other parties to make that happen," Khan said. "We are going to be driving forward because I think this is absolutely paramount for the Jaguars to be stable in this area. The city has to grow and we have to have the energy around the stadium and in the stadium especially on game day."
The financial health of the franchise, new Jaguars uniforms, the announcement that Jacksonville's own Lynyrd Skynyrd will headline its final concert on Labor Day weekend at the stadium and the future downtown development were all discussed in the 90-minute presentation.
Lamping also announced that there would be modifications to the north end zone and the addition of a dog park inside the stadium.
Details of a major residential, commercial, hotel development with marina proposed for the sports complex, including the Shipyards and Lot J, were also provided.
The most anticipated part of the 90-minute presentation was the unveiling of the new uniforms.
At the NFL’s annual meeting last month, Tom Coughlin said the uniforms would “give a feeling of who we are and what we represent. It’s a solid look.”
The new Nike Vapor Untouchable uniforms feature three jersey options (black, white, teal), three pants options (black, white, teal) and two sock options (standard, color rush teal). The Jaguars’ new helmets feature a high-gloss black paint, with “JAX” on the front 3D bumper to honor the city of Jacksonville. On the rear of the new helmet, the white bumper will feature “JAGUARS” in teal lettering. This teal font will match the teal numbering directly above the bumper.
The Jaguars also showed mock-ups of the new signage for the newly approved stadium name, TIAA Bank Field.
1. Humanitarian Award
2. Local Most Influential Person
3. Best Local Corporation for Equality
Bank of America
4. Best Local Equality Organization
Honoree Organization – Elder Source honored work in the Jacksonville LGBT Community meeting the needs of our elderly.
5. Best Local LGBT Charity or Organization
LGBT Community Fund
6. Best LGBT Local Business Owner
Dewayne & Jonathon - Bread & Board
Gary Motes - Hamburger Mary's
David Perrault - Park Place
7. Best LGBT Nightclub/Dance Club
Metro Entertainment Complex
8. Best Local LGBT Bar
Mary's Pub House Jax
Honoree – Jame Eddy honored for his work in the Duval Democrat Party and local LGBT Community.
9. Best Local Straight Ally
10. Best Local Clergy Leader
Pastor Vincent Brown - The Outlet Church of Jacksonville
Pastor Valerie Williams - Living Witness Family Worship Center
Avery Garner - St Luke's Community Church
11. Best Local LGBT Group
Bank of American LGBT Network Jax
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Jax
Stonewall Democrats Jax
12. Best Local Writer/Journalist
Claire Goforth - Folio Weekly
A.G. Gancarski - Florida Politics
Nikki Preede Kimbleton - WJXT
13. Best Local Lawyer
Troy Frauqhar - Integrity Law
John Phillips - Law Office of John M. Phillips
Patrick Douglas - Douglas & Carter
14. Best Local Community Theater Group
The 5 & Dime
Players By The Sea
Glitter Bomb Shows - Metro Entertainment Complex
Honoree – Susan Dubow honored for work with local charities and LGBT ally.
15. Best Local Tattoo Studio
Mystic Koi Tattoo
Solid State Art Studio
Sunday Tattoo Gallery
16. Best Local Pub or Brew Pub
Mary's Pub House Jax
17. Best Local LGBT Happy Hour
Metro Entertainment Complex
18. Best Local LGBT Annual Event
River City Pride
Strides for Pride 5k
19. Best Local Hair Stylist
Ryan Williams - Twisted Scissors
Jamye Hawarah - Shampoo Salon
Lee Jensen - Shampoo Salon
20. Best Local Hair Salon
21. Best Local Realtor
Joseph Poletto - Watson Realty
Neil Bridgers - Watson Realty
Tony Caribaltes - CBV Avondale
Honoree – Adrian Bray-Kelly work with Jacksonville Black Pride and local community.
22. Best Local Florist
Glenn Certain Studio
23. Best Local Artist
24. Best Local Restaurant
Hoptinger's - 5 Points
Bread & Board Co - 5 Points
South's Kitchen - Avondale
25. Best Local Hotel/B&B
Double Tree Downtown Jax
Richard Ceriello's General Store
26. Best Local HIV/AIDS Resource Center
LSS - Lutheran Social Services
AHF - AIDS Healthcare Foundation Jax
NFAN - Northeast Florida AIDS Network
27. Best Local Bartender
Princess Rob - Metro Entertainment Complex
Noah Davis - Park Place
T.J. Chin - Park Place
28. Best Performer: Drag Queen / Female Entertainer
29. Best Performer: Drag King / Male Entertainer
Honoree – Emily Rokosch years of work with local LGBTQ youth through JASMYN.
30. Best Performer: Musician
31. Best Performer: Stage Actor
32. Best Performer: Stage Actress
33. Best Performer: DJ
DJ John Terry
DJ Rob Sessions
34. Best Local Bar/Nightclub Owner
Staci Ybarra - InCahoots Nightclub
Jerry Rosenberg - Metro Entertainment Complex
David Perrault - Park Place
Honoree – Heather Vaughan honored for work in the AIDS/HIV Community
35. Best Local Music Venue
36. Best Local Play/Production
Coming OUT Monologues
Sentences - Players By The Sea
Top Dog Under Dog - 5 & Dime
37. Best Local Politician
38. Best Local Gym
New Jax Gym
YMCA - Riverside
Honoree – Mike Nicholson honored with work with River City Pride.
39. Best Local Pizza Place
Mellow Mushroom - Avondale
Moon River - Murray Hill
Carmine's - Riverside
40. Best Local Mental/Behavioral Health Provider
Dr. Matt Borer
John Pimental - LSS
Maureen McLain - Counseling for Wholeness
41. Best Local Spa
Seventh Wonder Spa
Elite Salon & Day Spa
42. Best Local Plastic Surgery
Dr. Clayman's Plastic Surgery
Garcia Facial Plastic Surgery
Fleming Island Plastic Surgery
43. Best Local HIV/AIDS Clinic
CAN Community Health - LSS Jax
AHF Healthcare Center Jax
JASMYN Youth Clinic
Honoree Business – Park Place honored for years of work & donations to local LGBT charities.
Additions mean air travelers can reach 32 destinations nonstop from Jacksonville International Airport.
Jacksonville air travelers can book nonstop flights to two more cities when Allegiant Air starts flying in June to Louisville, Ky., and Norfolk, Va.
The service will bring the total number of cities to 32 for nonstop service from Jacksonville. Allegiant will offer nonstop flights to eight of those cities.
“Today’s announcement will connect two large military communities, while also providing service to the home of the Kentucky Derby,” Jacksonville Aviation Authority CEO Steve Grossman said.
Allegiant said the nonstop service will tap into the popularity of Florida’s east coast for vacations.
“We’re very excited to grow again in Jacksonville,” said Lukas Johnson, senior vice president of commercial for Allegiant.
Allegiant said it will set one-way fares as low as $49 to Louisville and Norfolk for tickets purchased by Wednesday. Those tickets must be for travel by Aug. 13.
The first Allegiant flight to Louisville will take off June 8; and service to Norfolk will launch June 14.
Allegiant says the new routes will have twice-weekly flights.
Allegiant, based in Las Vegas, describes itself as an airline focused on offering “ultra-low-cost” flights serving leisure destinations.
A Florida Democratic National Committee (DNC) member resigned on Wednesday after other officials — including his wife — denounced his use of the term “colored people.”
In a letter obtained by Politico, John Parker offered his resignation as state committeeman of the Duval County Democratic Party and as a state DNC member after fierce pushback of his use of the term "colored people." He also reportedly praised segregation during a dinner party on Jan. 22.
“I misspoke and used language that was hurtful,” Parker wrote. “I apologized and pledged that I would learn from my mistake.”
Parker told Politico on Wednesday that he had simply misused the phrase when he intended to say “people of color.”
Head of the Black Commission in Jacksonville, Diallo-Sekou Seabrooks, told First Coast News that the remark did not appear to be an error.
“Why would you still think that 'colored' was cool? Because to me it's a Jim Crow terminology and it's unacceptable," Seabrooks said.
Seabrooks said Parker openly discussed problems created by integration of “colored people” into the city.
"I'm old enough to understand when people use context and frame that they are using it in and there was no joking in it," Seabrooks said. "Structural racism is as normal as the absence of a black agenda inside of the Democratic Party which is 55 percent black."
Parker said that he was resigning for the good of the Democratic Party.
“I am confident that a full investigation would have shown that I erred with my mouth, not my heart,” Parker said.
Parker’s own wife of 23 years, Duval County Democratic Executive Committee Chairwoman Lisa King, called on him to resign.
“Though it is painful and awkward to air this conflict publicly, I have told John from the beginning that the most appropriate course of action for him was to resign,” King told First Coast News in a written statement.
King said she had never heard him use the phrase “colored people” before and told him that his choice of words was offensive.
“While I do not believe John had any intent of malice in the manner in which he spoke, it is imperative that for the good of this city and the local and statewide party that he take this action,” State Senator Audrey Gibson said in a statement Wednesday.
An engineer working on the pedestrian bridge at Florida International University (FIU) that collapsed this week says he reported cracks in the bridge days before the collapse.
The New York Times reports that Figg Bridge Engineers' lead engineer on the project W. Denney Pate left a voicemail for a Florida Department of Transportation official reporting cracking on the north end of the bridge that was not considered a safety concern at the time.
The voicemail, however, was ignored until Friday, a day after the collapse, because the transportation employee was out of the office.
“We’ve taken a look at it and, uh, obviously some repairs or whatever will have to be done, but from a safety perspective we don’t see that there’s any issue there so we’re not concerned about it from that perspective,” reads a transcription of Pate's voicemail obtained by the Times.
“Although obviously the cracking is not good and something’s going to have to be, you know, done to repair that," he added.
Florida's Department of Transportation on Friday laid the blame for the bridge's failure on FIU's team that commissioned the bridge.
“The responsibility to identify and address life-safety issues and properly communicate them is the sole responsibility of the F.I.U. design-build team,” the agency said.
Figg Bridge Engineers said in a statement that it was “heartbroken by the loss of life and injuries, and are carefully examining the steps that our team has taken in the interest of our overarching concern for public safety.”
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) launched an investigation Friday morning into the bridge's collapse, which occurred Thursday and killed at least six people, according to Florida officials.
The NTSB was deploying a team of 15 specialists with experience in civil engineering, material science and survival factors to investigate the collapse.