The Fernandina Beach Rotary Club recently welcomed guest speaker Alan Verlander, Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment for the City of Jacksonville. Before being appointed to the job by Mayor Alvin Brown, Verlander served as athletic director at Jacksonville University for a number of years. His job is to act as the city’s liaison for all sporting events that take place in Duval County such as the Jaguars, Georgia-Florida football game, U.S. Woman’s Soccer Tournament and the Davis Cup Tennis trials. He also oversees city-owned venues such as Everbank Field, Jacksonville Memorial Arena and the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. He discussed some of the sporting events the city has worked to attract, including the NCAA Basketball Tournament, which will return to Jacksonville in 2014 and a possible BCS Bowl Championship. Verlander said the city works constantly to build its brand as a prime location for sporting events, not only to bring in fan-based revenue, but also to increase national awareness of Jacksonville for future economic development projects. He closed by saying his goal is twofold: To attract sporting event that will have fans filling area hotels and restaurants while also creating name recognition for the entire region.