Jacksonville Armada FC Robert Palmer dropped a juicy detail about his plans for the franchise at a meeting with the team’s business allies.
He plans to commission the construction of a new stadium dedicated to the Armada, to be called HomeValue.com Stadium – sponsored by another of Palmer’s business ventures.
Palmer said that he has the funding for the stadium in place and has even worked out the design for the structure. The only thing left to do is find and purchase the land on which it’ll be built.
Palmer indicated that he wants to consider all possibilities and wants to locate the stadium in a place that will allow for optimal economic benefit to the surrounding area.
It’ll probably require a lengthy research process to determine the best possible location for the stadium. But there are a limited number of areas with enough land to fit a stadium that are also accessible enough to make for a positive gameday experience.
We’ve gone ahead and picked out a few areas where we think HomeValue.com Stadium would be a good fit.
Can’t you just imagine the traffic jams already?
The ever-growing Town Center area would be an obvious choice, simply because it’s a bustling center of activity with surprising amounts of undeveloped land remaining. It would also have the benefit of keeping them near where they’ve been playing – the team has played most of its games since Palmer took over at Hodges Stadium at UNF – and keeping those fans in the fold for years to come.
As a bonus, the team’s official retail store recently opened within the St. Johns Town Center.
The obvious drawback to this plan is that it has the potential to create an even bigger traffic nightmare at the Town Center.
There’s still plenty of undeveloped land out on the borderline of Duval County, and even into unincorporated St. Johns County.
It might be worthwhile for the Armada to set roots in the fastest-growing sector of Northeast Florida. Residents out there also tend to be wealthier, meaning they’ll be willing to pay ticket prices that will almost certainly go up significantly with a new stadium.
And given how far of a drive it is for those residents to get to the downtown sports district, it could provide an easier destination for sports fans to get their fix.
NORTHSIDE/NEAR THE AIRPORT
Another fast-growing part of town that would benefit from the influx of new jobs in their community would be near the northern border of Duval County, up near the airport and River City Marketplace.
It’s an area that’s recently seen hefty investments recently, such as Amazon’s new Pecan Park facility, and would benefit from further investment. Something like a soccer stadium would vitalize the area, and would go well with the new developments branching out from River City Marketplace.
The drawback would be the likelihood of, at least initially, being in the middle of nowhere.
NEAR THE SPORTS DISTRICT
Obviously, it would be most ideal to put the new stadium near the rest of the city’s sports complexes.
But space near the sports district is not exactly readily available. The only real option would be to negotiate with Shad Khan and the city to utilize the Shipyards property – which would also push development back a few years given the cleanup needed for that property.