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Jacksonville's Bid To Keep ACC Championship

7:26 PM, Nov 13, 2007   |    comments
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By Deanna Fené First Coast News JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Jacksonville is hoping to keep the ACC Football Championship game, but two other cities are also bidding on it. The Gator Bowl Association made it's presentation to remain the host city at a meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, Tuesday afternoon. Jacksonville is competing against Tampa and Charlotte. In 2005, The Atlantic Coast Conference awarded Jacksonville a two year contract to host the ACC Football Championship. Last year, they granted the city a one year extension. The hosting responsibilities are now up for bid again. Gator Bowl Association President Rick Catlett talked to First Coast News by phone immediately after Tuesday's meeting in Raleigh. He said, "The presentation went very well. He feels very positive." He also added, "Our biggest challenge is to convince them the community is embracing the event and it will grow into a major sporting event in Jacksonville." The concern is ticket sales. When Jacksonville won the bid in 2005, the Gator Bowl Association guaranteed a sell out stadium. The first year, it did with 72,000 fans. Last year however, there were only 55,000. Catlett says, "We need 65,000 people in the stadium to keep the ACC Championship game." He also said if this year's game on December 1st is a sell out, it will greatly increase Jacksonville's chances of remaining the host city. The Atlantic Coast Conference is expected to announce the site for the 2008, 2009, and 2010 games following the December 1st ACC Championship game in Jacksonville.

First Coast News

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