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Jacksonville Awarded North American Soccer League Franchise

City of Jacksonville - NASL

TheNASL Board of Governors awarded new franchises on Thursday to Jacksonville and Oklahoma City. The franchise will begin play in 2015.

"This is an exciting day for soccer fans in Jacksonville and throughout Northeast Florida,” says Mark Frisch, the owner of the Jacksonville franchise through his company, Sunshine Soccer Group. “The growth of soccer in our area the past few years is impressive.  We look forward to working with our soccer community to further the growth of the sport."

“I have seen first hand the desire the Jacksonville community has for a professional soccer team to call its own and believe this is a great move for soccer in Florida,” says NASL commissioner Bill Peterson. “The Sunshine Soccer Group is creating another in-state rivalry for our teams the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Fort Lauderdale Strikers, appealing to the global soccer passion for local derbies that are always special occasions.”

In the last two years, Jacksonville has set new attendance record for U.S. men’s and women’s team matches at EverBank Field – with more than 42,000 fans in attendance when the U.S. men hosted Scotland.

Kevin Meerschaert has left WJCT for new pursuits. He was the producer of First Coast Connect until October of 2018.