JAXSPORTS Speaker Series kicks off

Kent Justice and Sunil Gulati
Kent Justice and Sunil Gulati

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – JAXSPORTS Council set the stage for the U. S. Men’s National Team World Cup qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago, which will be played at EverBank Field on Sept. 6 at 8 p.m.

U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati headlined a luncheon in downtown Jacksonville Wednesday to kick off the 2016-17 JAXSPORTS Speaker Series. Gulati offered a short speech, then took questions from the audience at the Hyatt Regency.

“We love Jacksonville because we have had success here in the past, both on the field and attendance in the stands,” Gulati said.

Gulati said talent and player development are two of the biggest keys for U.S. Soccer to compete more consistently on the world stage. He also called Jacksonville an ideal location for next week’s World Cup Qualifier at EverBank Field. Many players are playing either in Major League Soccer across the U.S., or playing overseas in other countries.

Gulati praised Mark Frisch, owner and CEO of the North American Soccer League’s Jacksonville Armada FC, indicating he agreed to speak at the luncheon based on his relationship with Frisch.

“The Jacksonville Sports Council mission is to build our community through sports and tourism. By the looks of the sports calendar between now and the first of the year, I think we’re about to have a lot of fun in fulfilling that mission," said JAXSPORTS Board Chairman Charlie Tomm

Tomm highlighted seven Jacksonville Jaguars home games on the schedule at Everbank Field downtown, as well as the annual Florida-Georgia game on Oct. 29 and the Navy-Notre Dame football game on Nov. 5

“Jacksonville will spend a lot of time in the national spotlight in October and November as college football comes to town with the annual Florida-Georgia game Oct. 29, followed by the next weekend’s highly anticipated event, the Navy-Notre Dame football game," Tomm said.

Jacksonville will also host the University of Florida’s basketball tipoff games on Nov. 11 and Nov. 13.

JAXSPORTS is a membership-based organization that was established to showcase Northeast Florida as a sports destination for professional, amateur and youth sports.

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