The plan for a new Jacksonville Armada stadium cleared a hurdle Tuesday, when the Jacksonville City Council unanimously approved a land-option agreement.
Under owner Robert Palmer, the Armada is seeking to build a new stadium and ancillary development on a more than five-acre site north of the Downtown Sports Complex. The land is currently owned by the city, but Tuesday’s 18-0 vote by the council advances the effort for the site to change hands.
As part of the terms approved Tuesday, the Palmer-led RP Sports Investments can pay $5,000 to enter into the agreement, then have the option to later pay $1 to close on the site. This vote did not finalize the stadium project by any means, as the club still has several hurdles to clear and would be years away from completing the project. Nevertheless, it marks a step forward in the Armada’s ambitions to build a new facility. More from the Florida Times-Union:
Under the deal, RP Sports Investments, headed by Armada owner Robert Palmer, can enter the agreement for $5,000. RP Sports would then have the option to close on the land for a nominal cost of $1.
“It’s the next hurdle to bringing professional soccer back,” [Armada president Nathan] Walter said. “We got over it, and we’re one step closer to reemerging.”
The deal would still require approval from the athletic departments of Florida and Georgia. The land is currently used as Lots XX and Y for TIAA Bank Field, and development would affect parking for the Florida-Georgia game.
Any move downtown would still be years away.
Specifications for the stadium call for a minimum capacity of 2,500, though that figure could be further expanded. The project would also include at least 25,000 square-feet of office space and 100 parking spots. Should the concept move forward, it could also allow the Armada—a former NASL club that has been fielding a U-23 squad in the National Premier Soccer League—to move up to a higher level of soccer.
Rendering via Robert Palmer Facebook post.
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