Jacksonville Municipal Stadium


Jacksonville Municipal Stadium

Infobox_Stadium
stadium_name = Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
nickname =


location = 1 Stadium Place
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
broke_ground = 1994
opened = August 18,1995
closed =
demolished =
owner = City of Jacksonville
operator = Spectacor Management Group
surface = Grass
construction_cost = $121 million (1995 Renovation)
architect = HOK Sport (1995 Renovation)
former_names = Alltel Stadium (1997-2007)
tenants = Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL) (1995-Present)
Gator Bowl (NCAA) (1996-Present)
ACC Championship Game (NCAA) (2005-2007)
River City Showdown (NCAA) (2007-Present)
The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (College Football) (1995-present)
seating_capacity = 76,867
67,164 (Jacksonville Jaguars games)
84,000 (College football/Super Bowl games)

Jacksonville Municipal Stadium is a football stadium located in downtown Jacksonville, Florida next to the St. Johns River. It is the home stadium facility of the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL franchise. The stadium sits on 10 acres (40,000 m²) of land and originally had a capacity of 73,000. Expansions over the past decade have brought capacity to 76,877.

Municipal Stadium is used primarily as a professional football facility but does host other events including monster truck shows and concerts. It also hosts a number of annual college football games, including "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" each year between The University of Florida and The University of Georgia, the ACC football championship game, and a post-season bowl game, the Gator Bowl, which currently pits teams from either the Big East or Big 12 conferences against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent.

Gator Bowl

The stadium was built on the foundations of the former Gator Bowl Stadium, which was built in 1949. Construction started January 3, 1994 and the new stadium opened on August 18, 1995 with an exhibition game with the St. Louis Rams. Total construction time was under 20 months and total cost was $134 million – $60 million of which was provided by the city of Jacksonville. The new stadium retained the ramping system of the old Gator Bowl, as well as the west upper deck added in 1982.

Current Stadium

Municipal Stadium's opening day was also the home debut of the Jaguars during the 1995 NFL season. It was the first time that an expansion NFL team had played its first game in a brand new stadium. In 1997, the stadium changed its name to Alltel Stadium after naming rights were acquired by Alltel, a telecommunications company best known as a wireless carrier. The name Alltel Stadium stopped being used by the city after January 2007 when the contract expired.

2005-present

In 2005, the stadium hosted Super Bowl XXXIX in which the New England Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21. In 2003 and 2004, $47 million in improvements to the stadium were implemented to prepare for the Super Bowl. These improvements included the addition of a unique sports bar in the south end zone called the "Bud Zone," a larger and wider scoreboard display, escalators in the north and south end zone, and a new "terrace suite" right above the "Bud Zone" in the south endzone.

Before the 2005 season, mainly due to low attendance figures and looming blackouts, team officials installed a series of tarps to reduce the seating capacity for Jaguars games. The covers were placed to block out seven sections in the upper north endzone and four in each upper deck section, located on the corners of each. This puts 9,713 seats out of service. Per NFL policy, the tarps have to stay on even during playoff games. Despite the changes, however, blackouts have still occurred, including two of their first three home games in 2007: against the Atlanta Falcons on September 16 and against the Houston Texans on October 14. [http://www.cbs47.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=88585f9c-7943-4f98-8b3f-05803c1c7506] [http://www.cbs47.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=54c937b1-1074-4807-83f1-1728798e7662]

For the Super Bowl, Florida-Georgia game, and occasionally the Gator Bowl, temporary bleachers are put up in the south end zone and the tarps are removed, raising capacity to over 84,000.

The attendance record was set on September 29, 2007 when 85,412 watched Florida State defeat Alabama in what was dubbed the "River City Showdown." [ [http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=272720052 ESPN - Lee comes off bench, rescues Florida State from Alabama - NCAA College Football Recap ] ] Each school received nearly 36,000 tickets each, and the Gator Bowl Association was cajoled into adding 5,800 additional seats. [ [http://www.nolesports.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070923/FSU03/709230341/1026/FSU03 Nolesports.com ] ]

References

External links

* [http://www.jaguars.com/stadium/ Official Jacksonville Municipal Stadium website]

succession box
title = Home of the
Jacksonville Jaguars
years = 1995 – present
before = inaugural venue
after = current
succession box
title = Host of the
Gator Bowl
years = 1995 – present
before = Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
after = current
succession box
title = Host of
ACC Championship Game
years = 2005 – 2007
before = inaugural venue
after = Raymond James Stadium
succession box
title = Host of
Super Bowl XXXIX
years = 2005
before = Reliant Stadium
after = Ford Field


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