By Will Brinson
Jaguars fans are thrilled about the prospects of new owner Shahid Khan turning the Jags back into a contender, but they're obviously concerned with the possibility of the team moving. On Thursday night in Atlanta, Khan, having been formally approved to buy the team, said "No" when asked if he would move the team.
But there's reportedly a financial impediment to moving the team as well -- Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network reports that if Khan moves the team within the next five years, "he would have to donate $25 million to the charity of Wayne Weaver's choice."
That's a substantial chunk of change, and it doesn't take into account what Khan would have to pay to the city of Jacksonville to break the lease with Everbank Stadium, which runs through 2029, either.
According to Jacksonville City Attorney Cindy Laquidara, the lease is "very tight" in terms of limiting the owner from getting out from under it.
Tight enough, in fact, that it would require an owner breaking it to pay 1) base rent; 2) ticket surchage revenues of about $750,000 a year; 3) parking revenues of $250,000; 3) stadium branding revenues of $250,000; 4) and "supplemental rent and all future payments."
Add it all up and one of the attorneys who negotiated the lease told FirstCoastNews.com that it will cost an owner $90 million to move the Jags.
That's before, of course, the $25 million donation to charity that Kahn would reportedly owe. (One has to assume said charity would also be in the Jacksonville area.)
Five years from now, things might change in terms of what Kahn's willing to do in order to move the Jaguars. And if he wanted, he could move them right now. It would just be really expensive and a public-relations nightmare.
So banking on the Jags to bail on Jacksonville in the immediate future doesn't seem like a good bet.
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