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New Sports Council Partnership To Promote Jax As Major Event Venue

Alex Shepard
Gator Bowl Sports

Mayor Alvin Brown demonstrated Thursday how seriously he takes the goal of bringing more big sporting events to Jacksonville.At an event at EverBank Field this afternoon, Brown announced the creation of a new public-private partnership called the Jacksonville Sports Council.

The partnership will consist of the city, the Jax Chamber of Commerce and Gator Bowl Sports. 

Gator Bowl President Rick Catlett says the new entity will give Jacksonville the cachet it needs to be a serious contender for major sports events.

“We’re at a disadvantage when we go as a government sector when we try to bid on an NCAA championship because the private sector has the strength of money and all of those things to make bids happen," he said. 

"So for the first time Jacksonville will be on that same playing fields with the Nashvilles and the Charlottes and the Atlantas. We’re going to be competitive, I can promise you that."

Catlett says Gator Bowl Sports will put up $1.5 million to staff the Jacksonville Sports Council and get the wheels of competition turning. After that, he said, they’ll start looking for financial sponsors to help sustain the effort.

You can follow Cyd Hoskinson on Twitter @cydwjctnews.

Cyd Hoskinson began working at WJCT on Valentine’s Day 2011.