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Jacksonville Preps For Georgia-Florida Football Classic

Rhema Thompson

The age-old rivalry between the Bulldogs and the Gators is coming back to town, and it is bringing one of the biggest new names in country music to town.

The Georgia-Florida Football Classic kicks off at EverBank Field this Halloween weekend where an estimated 83,000 fans are expected to pack the stadium.

This year, it is also the site of the much-anticipated album release of chart-topping country music duo Florida Georgia Line will launch its brand new album to thousands more.

The group will perform at the Shipyards in downtown Jacksonville Friday.

"It’s always been more than about a game," said Mayor Alvin Brown. "It's an opportunity to really bring people from all around the country to have a good time." 

Brown joined city and law enforcement officials Tuesday to discuss how the city is gearing up for the big weekend.

The annual Jacksonville tradition spans back to 1933. This year it's expected to rake in upwards of $32 million, according to Brown. 

As in past years, the city will be taking several measures to ensure the three-day event goes smoothly and safely, including shuttle service, added stadium seating and several sideline safety zones where attendees can get medical care, directions and other information. And expect several traffic slowdown and detours. Most of downtown Bay Street for instance will be closed.

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Assistant Chief Leonard Propper’s advice to those who plan to attend: Get there early.

"If you have no designated parking and you're looking for the very general parking you must be down here about five hours early," he warned.

Space in the Winn-Dixie sponsored "RV City" by EverBank Field can be purchased for $125 a day and a few other nearby lots for less. Attendees are expected to begin arriving as early as Wednesday.

The Jacksonville Transit Authority will also be providing shuttle service from four different parking locations throughout the city as well as extended hours on its Skyway service.

More information on game day traffic, transportation and schedules can be found on the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office website at or at 

The festivities begin Friday.

You can follow Rhema Thompson on Twitter @RhemaThompson

Rhema Thompson began her post at WJCT on a very cold day in January 2014 and left WJCT to join the team at The Florida Times Union in December 2014.