JACKSONVILLE, Florida. “Eastsiders have mixed feelings about the impact the stadium of the future will have on their neighborhood.
On Wednesday, the Jaguars held a meeting with the Eastside community to discuss the impact of the TIAA Bank Field renovation on the area, as well as explain plans to work with the area as part of the transformation project.
This meeting was different from the community gatherings organized by the Jags to get feedback on the recently announced plans for the stadium.
Sharing the $2 billion price between the city and the Jaguars could also cause a split in the Eastside community, with some residents saying the upgraded stadium would benefit the area, while others think it could do more harm than good.
Maria Hughes said she grew up on the Eastside and attended the meeting. She sees this change as a boon to society.
“We are built up again. What was before is back and it’s a big help to the community. Even in the case of renovation, I say that there are more jobs, more opportunities. I think it’s good for the people of the Eastside,” Hughes said.
David Jones did not attend the meeting but said his family has lived in the area for over 80 years and is skeptical about what will happen.
He believes investors are already buying properties in the neighborhood, which he says won’t be good for residents.
“We already know that when they are going to come here to take whatever they want, they will come up with all sorts of laws and regulations. They will take it. That’s what they’re doing here,” Jones said.
A spokesperson for the Jaguars said the team felt the meeting was a success and enjoyed interacting with the community.
Community group Historic Eastside said it is working to ensure families are not displaced and has already spoken to Mayor Donna Deegan’s transition team about concerns that some residents could be a price outside the area.
The group hopes that the stadium of the future will benefit the entire Eastside area as well as the rest of Jacksonville.
The Jags also stated that they are tabulating the results of these meetings in order to submit a report shortly and make it available to the public.
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