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City nixes this year's Navy-Marine Corps Classic

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Updated: 7/10/2013 9:38 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Action News has learned the city will not bring the Navy-Marine Corps Classic back to northeast Florida this year.

Last year's game on the USS Bataan, between the Florida Gators and the Georgetown Hoyas, was considered the big draw during the Week of Valor for local veterans.

Wet weather cut the game short at halftime. It also dried up any potential for profit. It was supposed to raise money for military affairs, but it left the city in the red.

The event cost the city's Sports & Entertainment Commission more than $700,000, draining the city's fund for sporting events.

Action News asked Jacksonville Sports and Entertainment Director, Alan Verlander, if 2012's financial flop was the reason for this year's cancellation.

"It has nothing to do with the money lost," said Verlander.

Verlander admits the event was a major undertaking for the city.

Just a couple months ago, he told Action News that the game was a go. But Tuesday was a different story. The city is shifting focus to the Florida/Georgia game, which falls six days before the Navy-Marine Corps Classic.

"Not only with us but you got the military. That's the other side of this equation for them. And they're having their own budget issues in Washington. And they made a huge commitment to it last year that they can't commit to this year," said Verlander.

The city does plan on hosting the event in 2014. Action News has learned the city's fund for sporting events is back in the green with more than $120,000 in the bank. "The good news is we are still attracting great sporting events to Jacksonville."

Verlander told Action News Ryan Smith the city may host smaller-scale event in its place during Week of Valor.
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Realchange - 7/9/2013 2:22 PM
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If it cost the city more money than it took in that is one reason. Additionally using federal assets for a basket ball game when we in debt so badly is not good idea. Bring the game back when the government gets the deficit under control and in good standing. Meanwhile host it on non military assets. We got veterans that are being punished with economic hardship, employee's being furloughed and more going on can we really afford to please people with sports games on LST's and Carriers?
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