Deal Will Keep Florida-Georgia Game In Jacksonville Through At Least 2023

Oct 25, 2019

An agreement has been reached to keep one of Jacksonville’s longest-running traditions going until at least 2023, with an option to extend the terms of the deal to 2025.

Mayor Lenny Curry announced Friday the city has reached an agreement to keep the annual Florida-Georgia college football game in Jacksonville at TIAA Bank Field.

It's been played there since 1933, with just two exceptions in 1994 and 1995 as the old Gator Bowl site was transformed into a new NFL stadium to accomodate the birth of the Jaguars.

"Our new agreement further strengthens the Florida-Georgia tradition we have enjoyed here in Jacksonville for more than 80 years. This game is an incredible asset for our city and the best is yet to come,” Curry said in an email to WJCT News.

According to Curry’s office, the economic impact of last year’s game topped $30 million.

“We look forward to the continuation of one of the greatest college football traditions in the country - a border-states battle between Georgia and Florida,” said University of Georgia J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity.

“The Florida-Georgia game is more than a football game, it’s a week-long celebration of two storied programs meeting on a neutral field,” said University of Florida Athletics Director Scott Stricklin. 

The deal for the game, which attracts more than 83,000 fans annually, is expected to be completed in the coming weeks, according to Curry's office, and still requires City Council's approval.

The financial terms of the agreement weren't immediately announced.

Fans will notice some significant changes at this year’s event. With the demolition of The Jacksonville Landing, a larger emphasis is being placed on events around the sports complex.

The inaugural Bold City Bash will kick off just outside of TIAA Bank Field. A block party, exhibition baseball game between the two universities, and concert featuring headliner Brett Young and opening act Chase Rice will be held the night before the game.

Kickoff for this year’s showdown between the Bulldogs and Gators will be at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.