JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The River City is going global. Tennis greats from two counties -- including our own -- will invade the city in February for the Davis Cup tennis tournament.
122 countries compete in the Davis Cup tennis tournament. America is fighting for top honors.
The city was awarding hosting duties Tuesday. And this is huge news for the economy of our city.
"This is the most authentic team competition our sport has at a professional level," said Todd Martin, former Tennis Cup competitor.
Martin is a tennis sensation, known around the world. He played in Davis Cups for nine years. He also calls Jacksonville home.
Being in the crowd as the USTA announced a February's Davis Cup match in Jacksonville where the United States will square off against Brazil is another dream come true.
"It's an environment that I haven't been in since 2002 when I played my last tennis cup tie, so to be able to come and root on the team and sit in my stuffy clothes as opposed to my white shorts and t-shirt it will be interesting and a lot of fun."
Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown knows the impact this single event alone will have on his city will be monumental. Spectators will flock here from all over the globe.
"It's going to bring several million dollars to us, to the city, we're gonna have over 1500-2000 room nights here in Jacksonville and I think that's a great thing," said Mayor Brown.
The city's Sports and Entertainment Director Alan Verlander has made it his goal to attract world class sporting events to the River City. He says this is a first step toward a whole new Jacksonville.
"We're not leaving the stones unturned," said Verlander. "Everything we are tying to bring to Jacksonville, Florida."
But for Martin, its this event in particular that has him smiling ear to ear.
"It'll be tough times but there will also be a lot of joy at the end of the week. I'm pretty confident we'll get past Brazil."
Mayor Brown says this event gives our city another big opportunity. America will host Brazil, which he says is Florida's number one trading partner so it allows Jacksonville to continue to build that bridge.
The Davis Cup will happen February 1-3 at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
The winning team will advance to the second round and face the winner of the Serbia-Belgium match.