5 More Places That Existed Then That Are Better Now

February 6, 2015 0 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Here are five more historic sites in Jacksonville that have gotten better with age.

2. Everbank Field

Gator Bowl under construction in 1949. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/166780

Everbank Field, then known as the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, opened in Jacksonville in 1995, the same year its home team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, would appear in the NFL. Everbank stood in place of the old Gator Bowl Stadium, covering 10 acres and holding a capacity of 73,000.

Fairfield Stadium was completed in 1928 to serve as a home field for Jacksonville's three new high schools-Lee, Jackson and Landon. With a seating capacity of 7,600, Governor John W. Martin declared that it was "the best place in Florida to watch a football game!" In 1948, capacity was expanded to 36,058 and the stadium was renamed the Gator Bowl.

Rebranded as the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in 1995, the stadium re-opened with a capacity of 73,000. The same year its home team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, would appear in the NFL. The stadium only had medial success over the years. By 2005, attendance was so low that games began to be blacked out and tarps were used to reduce the seating capacity, covering over 9,000 seats.  While their would be an attendance record broken in 2007, as fans gathered to watch FSU beat Alabama, Everbank would still struggle to prove as “valuable” to the city.

Things changed in 2010, though, as Everbank got its current name and the Jags saw a season with no blackouts. Everbank continues to be home to the infamous Florida-Georgia game annually, the Taxslayer Bowl, the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam, and was recently home to a US Men’s soccer game.

Everbank was a recent recipient of a $63 million renovation project in which two, 362-foot-long scoreboards, were put in to the endzones. These are the largest HD LED of their kind. The renovation also included two wading pools, new food and beverage offerings, and interactive activities for stadium visitors.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

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