The cost of hosting FSU/Boise State football in Jacksonville

Jacksonville, FL — More neutral site college football is coming to Jacksonville, and we’re now getting a better idea how much that will cost, and how it stacks up with other games the City has hosted.

WOKV previously told you that Florida State University and Boise State University will square off at TIAA Bank Field on Labor Day weekend next year. The new City budget proposal from Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry shows the City making a $385,000 contribution toward the game. A memo from the City's Sports & Entertainment Office to Gator Bowl Sports outlines the agreement that budget is based on, although the full game agreement hasn't yet been filed, and must be approved by the Jacksonville City Council. The City budget overall is also still pending approval by the Council.

The memo shows this deal was in the works more than a year before it was announced this May. Following a records request by WOKV, the City supplied a February 2017 outline, which shows the funding will be used for the cost of operating the stadium, with Gator Bowl Sports picking up anything over that.

Gator Bowl Sports will pay the City $100,000 in base rent, and will ensure the City gets a $1.25 per ticket user fee. They will also provide 150 game tickets for a combination of lower and club level, 24 tickets for the City luxury suite, and 50 parking passes and 50 hospitality passes for any pre-game Gator Bowl Sports functions. The City must pay for any catering in the suite, which they are entitled to for all City events, under the lease agreement with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

There will also be some commercial ad inventory and signage promoting Jacksonville in the venue on game day.

With Daily’s Place now open and fully in use, the memo also says the City and Jags will “provide best efforts” to put on a pre-game special concert at the amphitheater, at their own risk. Along with Gator Bowl Sports, all three groups would also discuss using the amphitheater and covered flex field for the game and special events.

The memo says the agreement reached when the City hosted Navy/Notre Dame was used as a baseline for this outline.

The base cost for FSU/Boise State is higher than the Navy/Notre Dame agreement, at $385,000 and $350,000 respectively. The base rent Gator Bowl Sports is paying for FSU/Boise State is also $5,000 higher than what they paid for Navy/Notre Dame, though.

Additionally, unlike Navy/Notre Dame, there will be no temporary bleachers constructed at TIAA Bank Field for the FSU/Boise State game. The City had to bear the cost of constructing 3,500 temporary seats for Navy/Notre Dame. While they were ultimately able to save some cost because bleachers had been constructed prior to this game for the annual Florida/Georgia game, it was nonetheless a bill that doesn't appear to be a part of this agreement.

There is no mention in this outline what type of parking revenue the City may expect. For Navy/Notre Dame, the contract gave the City $3 per space, with the rest of the revenue going to the Gator Bowl Association. Also not yet clear would be the breakdown for concession revenue and merchandising. The terms for Navy/Notre Dame were similar to those of the annual TaxSlayer.com Bow, which was recently rebranded and will now be the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.

Navy/Notre Dame serves as the most comparable event to this game, although TIAA Bank Field also hosts University of Florida and University of Georgia football each year- a game that saw its contract boosted and extended last year. The stadium also hosts the annual TaxSlayer Gator Bowl during college football bowl season.

This FSU/Boise State memo was the only item returned in our records request relating to this event’s budget in the overall City budget. That indicates that, while there may be a more comprehensive and full agreement in the works, that is not yet considered a public record.

Tickets for FSU/Boise State are not yet on sale, but the JAXSPORTS Council has a breakdown of when each fan base can submit for seats. While the game's official date and time have not been released, the memo says it will be August 31, 2019.

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