JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Sharks haven't played a preseason game in three years, but now they have a good reason to play one.
The Sharks will travel to Albany, Georgia, March 9 to face the Georgia Firebirds in a benefit game to raise funds for the victims of the south Georgia tornadoes that ripped through Albany and surrounding communities on Jan. 21-22.
This will be the first of a home and home series with the two teams meeting in Jacksonville in the 2018 preseason.
This will be the first game for the Sharks since joining the new National Arena League.
"We have many fans from the Georgia area and have always been in touch with the South Georgia communities since we started the team in 2010,” said operating manager Jeff Bouchy. “When we saw what happened in Albany, we instantly began thinking of ways to help not only the community but to raise awareness of the tragedies that occurred just north of our state border."
The game will serve as a rallying point for a food and clothing drive. The food drive launched Tuesday and all donations will be taken to Albany March 9.
Fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable can food items, clothes, sheets, towels, school supplies and personal hygiene items. All donations can be delivered to 1000 W. Bay Street at the Prime Osborne Convention Center between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.