02/07/2017 8:30 AM -

JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville Sharks announced today in collaboration with the Georgia Firebirds of the National Arena League, both teams will compete in a preseason game to be held on Thursday, March 9, 2017 in Albany, Ga. at the Albany Civic Center with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. This will be the first of a home and home series with the two teams squaring off in Jacksonville in preseason 2018.  This game will mark the Shark's first preseason game in three seasons and will be the first official exhibition since joining the National Arena League. The preseason game will not only benefit both teams with some early competition in preparation for the highly anticipated 2017 season, but the game will also be held as a charitable community event to benefit the victims of the South Georgia Tornadoes that struck Albany and it’s surrounding communities January 21-22. The preseason game will allow the Jacksonville Sharks and it’s fans to host a food drive that will take all donations up to Albany, Georgia for the relief of those in South Georgia that are still recovering from the multiple tornadoes that devastated the region.  

“We have many fans from the Georgia area and have always been in touch with the South Georgia communities since we started the team in 2010.” Said Operating Manager Jeff Bouchy,  “When we saw what happened in Albany, GA we instantly began thinking of ways to help not only the community but to raise awareness of the tragedies that occurred just north of our state border. After much discussion with the Georgia Firebirds we decided instead of hosting a game here in Jacksonville to help, we really needed to travel up there and give the communities affected a chance to get the first look at arena football in the newly formed National Arena League and we are excited and confident that our food/clothing drive will be a successful effort to provide for those in need in the area.”

“The Georgia Firebirds have made great efforts to help its community since the storms struck, from cleaning up debri, delivering much needed supplies and providing support to first responders, stated Firebirds owner Darrien Teals. The Firebirds hosting the Jacksonville Sharks for it’s preseason game & food/clothing drive benefit will be another great addition to the Firebirds outstanding community outreach program. Community outreach and assisting those in need is paramount to the mission of the Georgia Firebirds organization. We are committed to helping victims affected by the tornados that hit South Georgia.  We are extremely grateful that the Jacksonville Sharks organization has joined in this effort. The Sharks are considered one of the top teams and organizations in the nation we would like to thank them and their fans for helping their state neighbors during a time of need.”

The food drive will begin today February 7th and all donations will be taken to Albany, GA Thursday, March 9th. Fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items, clothes, sheets, towels, school supplies and personal hygiene items.  All donations can be delivered to 1000 W. Bay Street at the Prime Osborne Convention Center between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m, Monday-Friday. All food donations must be non-perishable can food items to ensure the quality of the food for the extended amount of time for the food drive and the schedule trip to deliver the food items. The South Georgia Food Banks and the HHGU, Inc. will receive these much needed items to distribute to the community in need.

About the Jacksonville Sharks

The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and four-time South Division Champions play all home games at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Sharks Nation Memberships for the 2017 season are now available. Shark Nation Memberships start as low as $99. To become a Shark Nation member or for more information please call (904) 621-0700. Follow the Sharks on facebook at and on Twitter and Instagram @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at and Chum at