Gator Bowl looking to expand beyond football

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Gator Bowl Association is expanding its reach by creating a new non-profit organization with a goal of bringing more sporting events to Jacksonville.

The goal is to bring things like youth soccer championships, lacrosse tournaments and, perhaps, high school championship games to stadiums in Jacksonville.

Not only will it put Jacksonville in the spotlight, but also have a tremendous economic impact, according to Rick Catlitt, president and CEO of the Gator Bowl.

The umbrella organization will be known as Gator Bowl Sports and will have a charitable component, as well. Catlett visited The Morning Show on Wednesday to explain the program, which is modeled after others across the nation, including Florida Citrus Sports in Orlando and the Nashville Sports Council.

Catlett said the idea to expand came about because the Gator Bowl solidified six-year deals with the SEC, ACC and Big Ten beginning in 2014, and renewed contracts for the same time frame with ESPN as television partner and Taxslayer.com as the title sponsor.

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