A new public-private partnership will highlight sports in the Northeast Florida Region.

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown announced a new public-private partnership Thursday for the Northeast Florida Region.

The partnership will be known as the Jacksonville Sports Council. It will showcase the area as a destination for professional, amateur and youth sports.

"World-class events help the city's economy by drawing visitors and providing a global stage to showcase Jacksonville and Northeast Florida," Mayor Brown said. "By forging this new public-private partnership, our community can build even more momentum to attract major events. I am proud of our success landing significant events, such as the upcoming US Soccer Men's National Team game before the World Cup and Florida Country Superfest. Our new partnership can only add more major events for our residents and visitors to enjoy."

The group will be privately funded and the Gator Bowl Sports will supplement the administrative and operational funding, according to a City of Jacksonville press release. Gator Bowl Sports will provide the staffing responsibilities and Chief Operating Officer of Gator Bowl Sports Alan Verlander will be the Executive Director of the Jacksonville Sports Council.

"The Gator Bowl Sports Board of Trustees is excited to join this team in the public-private partnership between the City of Jacksonville, JAX Chamber and Gator Bowl Sports to ensure that Northeast Florida is in the forefront of using sports events for tourism and economic development. For 70 years our organization has been a leader in putting on sports events like the Bowl game, and various neutral site games and we look forward to working together to continue this effort," said Rick Catlett, President and CEO of Gator Bowl Sports.

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