With a long-term lease in place, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Class AA; Southern League) are eager for potential development in the area surrounding Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
Originally opening in 2003, Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville is located in Jacksonville’s downtown sports complex with two other sports facilities–VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena and TIAA Bank Field, the latter of which is home to the NFL’s Jaguars. The Jumbo Shrimp have had some success in recent seasons under owner Ken Babby, including a rebrand from the traditional Suns moniker to the Jumbo Shrimp name prior to the 2017 season.
The franchise has also made a long-term commitment to the ballpark, signing a lease extension last September that runs through the 2033 season. During that period, the Jumbo Shrimp could see some changes to the area surrounding the ballpark, as Jaguars owner Shad Khan is pushing for future downtown development that could include a mixed-use entertainment complex at TIAA Bank Field’s Lot J.
Although the Jumbo Shrimp are not involved in that endeavor directly, they indicate that they are looking forward to the seeing the effort come to fruition. From the team’s perspective, the proposed development could be a positive by bringing more foot traffic to the area surrounding the ballpark. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record:
“We’re going to be here for a really long time,” Jumbo Shrimp owner Ken Babby said last week at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, pointing to a lease extension signed in September that will keep the team at the ballpark through at least 2033.
“More people coming to the sports complex is great for us,” he said.
Babby said he doesn’t have any fresh ideas for the area, which could include development of parking Lot J, which sits between the baseball stadium and the Jaguars’ football stadium, TIAA Bank Field.
“We’re leaving that for the smart people to figure out,” he said.
The Jaguars have been active in making improvements to TIAA Bank Field and the surrounding area, evidenced in part by the development of an amphitheater outside the stadium that opened in 2017, and the latest development plans could further that effort. Sister site Football Stadium Digest has previously covered the proposed development.
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