Big local ROI for Jacksonville's Navy/Notre Dame game – Florida Politics (blog)
The score of last Saturday’s Navy/Notre Dame game in Jacksonville was Midshipmen 28, Fighting Irish 27.
But the big numbers for the city of Jacksonville went beyond the scoreboard.
Hotel occupancy at 90 percent. Over 50,000 people in the stands. Economic impact of $30 million.
Jacksonville has seen sports and entertainment as a major part of its economic strategy, and the strong performance of Navy/Notre Dame — on a weekend that saw everything from political activity ahead of the election to the iconic Raines/Ribault high school football game — is considered to be a major success by city leaders.
“This is a game the JAXSPORTS Council and our partners have been working on for well over a year, and we couldn’t have asked for a better-executed event,” said JAXSPORTS CEO Rick Catlett. “Our hotels were full, our restaurants and businesses were crowded and the stadium was full of so much patriotic spirit. From excited fans to military heroes, it was obvious everyone had a fantastic time, and we will continue working hard to become a regular host of this storied match-up.”
The game was landed last July, very early in the Lenny Curry administration.
Back then, positivity reigned.
Catlett called the event an “indication of the future.”
Chet Gladchuk, the Naval Academy athletic director, lauded the energy that came out of Jacksonville as “extraordinary.”
The city’s investment in the game, the mayor said in July 2015, would be capped out at $325,000, but they would “watch expenses.”
So, for a $325,000 investment of city money, $30 million of economic impact was derived.
Not a bad ROI.