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Home Field: EverBank Stadium, Jacksonville, FL

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In the summer of 2023, most NFL teams were focused on the upcoming football season. The Jacksonville Jaguars were thinking about that, of course; however, they were looking toward the future, too. Specifically, they were thinking about their “Stadium of the Future.” 

The Jaguars’ home field — which changed its name from TIAA Bank Field to EverBank Stadium in the summer of 2023 — is set to commence a huge renovation job in early 2025, with a goal for the venue to be ready for the 2028 season. The team is collaborating with the world-renowned architectural firm HOK to conceive this “Stadium of the Future” that will benefit Jaguar fans and the city of Jacksonville — and, on a larger scale, the environment. 

Photo Courtesy EverBank Stadium  

For the fans, the reimagined stadium will have a 360-degree concourse that stands four times wider than the current one is and contain more than 200 new food and beverage spots — with a concentration on items local to the Jacksonville area — and over a dozen new bathrooms.

The venue’s capacity has flexibility so it can be expanded for larger events while advanced digital and lighting technology enhances the game-day experiences. 

Furthermore, the team sees the renovated stadium as serving not just the fans but the entire community. “Our goal is simple — maximize every ounce of positive impact made possible by this project so all Jacksonville residents may benefit,” Mark Lamping, Jaguars president, said in a press release. 

The Jaguars view the upgraded stadium as providing a vital spark to its neighborhood on the east side of downtown Jacksonville — similar to the economic revival already in other areas of the city. The up-and-coming urban area recently placed fifth on a list of America’s Biggest Boomtowns — and the highest-ranking NFL city. 

The stadium’s physical design similarly welcomes and celebrates Jacksonville’s beautiful natural beauty, from parklands and beaches to biking and walking trails. Its entranceway, for example, will resemble a subtropical Floridian park. The elevated concourse will also create scenic views of the nearby St. Johns River and downtown, with lookout decks offering additional city views. 

Photo Courtesy EverBank Stadium  

This interest in highlighting Jacksonville’s natural beauty is also apparent in the stadium’s most striking design element. Its façade features a first-of-its-kind mirrored material that literally “reflects” the neighboring landscape and waterfront. The mirrored surface provides environmental benefits, too, since it is energy efficient. 

More electricity savings should be achieved by raising facades at the stadium’s north and south ends because it improves airflow and up passive cooling.

The open-air venue will be topped with a fritted roof membrane that distributes ambient light throughout the facility, which should decrease the need for electrical lighting. A large shade canopy will also serve to lower heat retention by more than 70% and reduce temperatures by an estimated 10–15% while also offering fans protection from inclement weather. 

This “stadium of the future” project isn’t the first time the Jaguars have shown forward-looking interest in the environment. In 2011, the team partnered with the Florida-based firm Waste Pro as its recycling and waste services. After re-upping with Waste Pro in 2018, the Jags turned to another Florida-located company, PureCycle, in 2022 to tackle a critical recycling issue: plastics. 

Photo Courtesy Waste Pro USA

In 2021, PureCycle began a program, PureCycle Zero, to deal with plastics recycling at large facilities, such as stadiums. The innovative “Zero” program collects the polypropylene containers sold at concession stands, removes any food impurities, and transforms them into “ultra-pure” resin, which can ultimately be used to create new items. 

“The idea is now we can recycle that cup into a clear resin, and it can go back into a souvenir cup in the future and achieve circularity at stadiums,” Christian Bruey, global strategic initiatives lead at PureCycle, told industry website Waste Dive. 

Photo Courtesy PureCycle Technologies

The Cleveland Browns were the first team to sign up with PureCycle in 2021, with the Jaguars starting their association with PureCycle the following year. For the Jags, the initial goal was to collect more than 1 million pieces of plastic annually with the PureCycle Zero program.

“With the PureZero program, the Jacksonville Jaguars can help bring plastic waste full circle, helping stop game day plastic trash from being landfilled or flowing into our rivers and oceans,”  Mike Otworth, PureCycle CEO, said in a statement. 

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