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Florida-Georgia Game: What You Need To Know

Cyd Hoskinson
Fans arriving at RV City across the street from Everbank Field.

It’s that time of year again: the city of Jacksonville is preparing for 82,000 excited fans at this year’s Florida-Georgia game.

First off, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is warning people to get to the stadium with at least five hours to spare. That way you won’t get tangled in street closures and heavier than normal traffic.

Special Events Chief Leonard Proper said the most important thing to remember is the traffic pattern changes once the stadium doors open.

“The game starts at 3:30, the gates open at 1:30. If you’re not in your parking spot by 1:30, the entire traffic management plan shifts from vehicles getting to their parking spots to pedestrians getting to the stadium,” he said. “So, if you’re not in your parking area by 1:30, then your commute will be prolonged even more because the priority goes to the pedestrians.”

Map of game day parking

Since a chunk of the game’s regular attendees are out-of-towners, including those who make the annual pilgrimage to RV City, many may not be familiar with recent changes to area highways.

Proper has this reminder: “Interstate 95 going North has a recent change to the exit for downtown. If you’re on 95 North coming from the south end of town, as soon as you cross the Emerson exit, there’s a lane that you have to get into for the downtown bridges exit,” he said. “That exit comes on quick.”

Proper said this year Hogan and Pearl streets from Water Street to the St. Johns River downtown will be closed from Thursday morning to Sunday night.

He also says in addition to a heavy police and fire rescue presence downtown, plainclothes officers will also be monitoring the area for underage drinking. Three-hundred people were either arrested or turned over to their parents for underage drinking last year.

The Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the City of Jacksonville, will also set up “Sideline Safety Zones” for anyone needing assistance, first aid, water, cell phone chargers, or a break from the heat.

The following is a list of locations and hours of operations:

Florida-Georgia Welcome Center (Lot K next to Metropolitan Park)  

Friday, Oct. 27, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.  

Saturday, Oct. 28, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Inside The Jacksonville Landing (2 W. Independent Drive)

Friday, Oct. 27, 8 p.m. - 2 a.m.  

Saturday, Oct. 28, Noon - 2 a.m.

Outside The Jacksonville Landing (On Independent Drive near Laura Street)

Friday, October 27, 6 p.m. - 2:00 a.m.  

Saturday, October 28, Noon - 2:00 a.m.

EverBank Field Stadium Bus Loop

Saturday, October 28, Noon - 9 p.m.

Corner of Georgia and Adams Streets

Saturday, October 28, Noon - 9 p.m.

RV City (Lot E across from EverBank Field)

Friday, October 27, 6 p.m. - 2 a.m.

Saturday, October 28, Noon - 10 p.m.

The Sheriff’s Office and Everbank Field also have a long list of prohibited items:

·      No cameras with lenses longer than six inches.

·      No coolers or containers including cans, cups and bottles.

·      No strollers or umbrellas.

·      No pets (except service animals).

·      No food or beverage from outside the stadium.

·      No seat cushion.

·      No video or audio recorders.

·      No whistles, noisemakers, air horns or laser pointers.

·      No poles or sticks, including selfie sticks.

·      No knives, guns or any type of weapons or explosives.

·      No smoking (except in designated areas).

·      No promotional items or any other items deemed unacceptable by stadium management.

·      No Re-Entry.

Public transportation for the game will also be slightly different than it is on a regular day. JTA service shuttles will be running starting an hour before stadium doors open to one hour after the game finishes.

For those that use the Skyway, the Jefferson Street and Prime Osborn Convention Center stations are closed this year due to construction.

Skyway schedules and other hours of operation can be found here:

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.