Gator Bowl Association Rebranding As "Gator Bowl Sports" In Effort To Add Events
The Gator Bowl Association will "undergo an expansion to form 'Gator Bowl Sports,' an umbrella organization for separate groups that will seek more events on the First Coast and to oversee charity," according to Garry Smits of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. GBA President & CEO Rick Catlett on Tuesday said that the plan "will be modeled after groups such as Florida Citrus Sports in Orlando and the Nashville Sports Council." In addition to "promoting the Gator Bowl brand and bringing charity into sharper focus, Gator Bowl Sports will work with the Jacksonville Sports and Entertainment Board, the city of Jacksonville and Mayor Alvin Brown’s office to bring more athletic events to the area." Catlett said that the idea for the expansion "began after the Gator Bowl secured six-year deals with the SEC, ACC and Big Ten beginning in 2014, and renewed contracts for the same time span with ESPN as a TV partner and Taxslayer.com as the title sponsor." Catlett said that Gator Bowl Sports will "make a renewed effort to bring neutral-site college games to EverBank Field and is in discussions with Florida State." He also said that a Notre Dame-Navy game would "be a natural for the area and [he] will attempt to bring a college basketball double-header to town in December." Catlett also would like to "get the ACC Baseball Tournament back in Jacksonville" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 11/6).