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Is city making $700,000 mistake?

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Updated: 6/13/2013 9:02 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Was the Navy-Marine Corps Classic basketball game a $700,000 mistake? That's what one City Council committee was tasked with figuring out.

"The city got great publicity out of it," said City Council President Bill Bishop of the game.

Bishop was in the crowd for the city's first college basketball game held on a Navy ship. He said while those attending had fun, the city didn't cash in.

"It just cost far too much money and we didn't get anything back for it," he said.

The city's special committee on oversight of the sports and entertainment fund just released a report, after reviewing that game. More than a dozen issues were highlighted.

"There were key people, key entities, that were involved in it that didn't get involved until the last second, major changes were made in the middle of the process like the ship size and there were no changes made with the budget, there was no accounting for what the impact for that was going to be," Bishop said.

Because of weather, the game didn't even make it past half-time.

He also said the biggest bust was that the game wiped out the city's sports resources.

"The sports management trust fund that took over five or six years to accumulate however much money is in there is empty," he said.

Sports and Entertainment Director Alan Verlander is also referenced, saying he was directed to manage the event despite minimal knowledge of procedures. Action News asked him if he feels responsible.

"You don't want to lose any money, any event that you go into so I am disappointed from my standpoint in that but you know I also look at the positives. We brought about seven sporting events to the city since that basketball game," Verlander said.

Bishop said the blame shouldn't fall solely on Verlander.

"His job was get it done. 'OK, I'll get it done.' He got it done. Obviously, we learned from all of that just like anybody involved in it learned so they don't do it again," said Bishop.

Verlander said many of these items have already been addressed within the city.

He said there is still about $70,000 left in the sports fund.

Mayor Alvin Brown has already said he wants another Navy-Marine Corps Classic basketball game next year.

Even after reviewing the report, Bishop said he would be on board if it's planned farther out.

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Gunny48 - 6/14/2013 2:35 PM
0 Votes
"got plenty of publicity" - What? "The rubes blew it again"?......... "CON-densation not a factor in night game?!" yadayadayadayada....

c9bcrewman - 6/13/2013 10:42 PM
2 Votes
city is good at wasting money. look at the 350 million dollar joke of a court house. a terrible waste of money. the 150 million dollar over cost could of bought more police and helped out in other area's. but do they care ? no
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