Jacksonville may never host another Super Bowl, but that’s not keeping the city from swinging for the fences one level lower.
As Alper pointed out in Friday’s one-liners, Jacksonville plans to try to land the NCAA football championship game, a product of the scrapping of the BCS and the launch of a true (albeit truncated) playoff system.
According to Garry Smits of the Florida Times-Union, the Jaguars will be part of a public-private partnership aimed at landing college football’s coming title game.
“We’re ready to do whatever we can to help the city in this effort,” Jaguars CFO Bill Prescott said. “This is a win-win for everyone involved if Jacksonville can get this game.”
“We’d be doing the people of Jacksonville a disservice if we didn’t go after this game aggressively,” Jacksonville Sports and Entertainment chairman Alan Verlander said. “This game can be like a Super Bowl. It can be a rallying-point event, a transformative event that can change a city and a community.”
And Jacksonville plans to be relentless.
“We’re not competing against other cities for 10 years,” Verlander said. “We’re competing against other cities for the first game, and if that doesn’t happen, the next one, or the one after that. We don’t want people disappointed if we don’t get the first one, because we’ll be trying just as hard to get the second, third or fourth one.”
Dallas, Tampa, Orlando, and Atlanta also are reportedly interested.
For Jacksonville, the challenge could be hotel space. When the city hosted Super Bowl XXXIX in early 2005, cruise ships were used to ensure that there were enough beds and toilets and other necessities for conducting a major national event.
Then again, the Super Bowl continues to be a much larger event. Given that Jacksonville already manages to pull off every year the Gator Bowl and the annual Florida-Georgia game, the city has shown that it can put on big events without the assistance of a fleet of Love Boats. Here’s hoping Jacksonville gets a shot at the newest big event.