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Upcoming sporting events mean big bucks for Jax economy

Estimated $70M economic impact to Jacksonville

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The JaxSports Council and the city of Jacksonville are preparing for a busy back-to-back three weeks, with major sporting events expected to bring in upward of an estimated $70 million economic impact to Jacksonville.

On Oct. 29, Jacksonville will play host to one of the most coveted neutral site games in college football, the Georgia vs. Florida game. The game is estimated to generate more than $30 million annual economic impact for the local economy.

"After Hurricane Matthew left us in a mess, I think that’s a very needed- especially for the hotels all along the beaches to have these hotels full," JaxSports president and CEO Rick Catlett said.

City officials are expecting more than 82,000 people during the game in two weekends. Tickets are still available for the Georgia vs. Florida game. 

On Nov. 5, EverBank Field will host a second neutral site college football game in the matchup between Navy vs. Notre Dame. That game is estimated to generate around $30 million for the city.

Military momentum will continue Nov. 5 and 6 with the 2016 Jacksonville Sea and Sky Air Show. The following week, Jacksonville will usher in a series of events to honor military men and women during the annual Week of Valor, capping off on Veterans Day with a Veterans Day parade.

“This is an unprecedented time for our city as we prepare for the three most impactful back-to-back weekends in Jacksonville history,” Catlett said. “We are a football town, and to be able to provide fans with two consecutive, high-caliber neutral site games is a real treat. To cap off the excitement by rolling out the red carpet for our military men and women during the Veterans Day parade is the cherry on top.”

The series of events kicks off Oct. 25, with RV City opening ahead of the Georgia-Florida game. 

On Oct. 28, the Annual Merrill Lynch/Bank of America Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame Luncheon and Induction Ceremony will take place at EverBank Field, and later that evening the Avett Brothers will perform at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

On Oct. 29, the annual Dawg Walk and Gator Walk lead up to the 3:30 p.m. kickoff. A host of additional events will be setup in-between. For a full rundown of Georgia-Florida events, visit GAFLjax.com.

Leading up to the Navy vs. Notre Dame game, military-themed events will begin Nov. 2, during Downtown Vision, Inc.’s First Wednesday Art Walk. On Nov. 3, JAX Chamber hosts a Military Appreciation Luncheon at the Prime Osborn Convention Center.

Pep rallies for both schools will take place at the Jacksonville Landing Nov. 4 and will conclude with a fireworks show on the St. John’s River at 8:15 p.m.

Kick-off for the 89th meeting of Navy and Notre Dame is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Nov. 5 and will be televised nationally on CBS.

Tickets and parking are available for purchase at jaxsports.com.

“As a football fan and son of a Navy veteran, I am looking forward to the next few weeks in Jacksonville,” Mayor Lenny Curry said. “These events are important to our military-friendly city and strengthen our reputation as a prime destination for sports and entertainment.”

The Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair is also simultaneously underway from Nov. 2-13. Navy and Notre Dame fans will get in the gates free by showing their game day ticket.

Fans are encouraged to take advantage of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority's Gameday Xpress service. Click here to learn more about JTA's Gameday Xpress shuttles.