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"The greatest rivalry in college football"
JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Georgia-Florida weekend is almost here, a tradition that’s been hosted in Jacksonville for almost 90 years.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is calling this the ‘greatest rivalry in college football.’
“We are proud to host this game and share this annual tradition with our citizens and with football fans,” Curry said. “This weekend not only highlights the two teams but keeps Jacksonville at the forefront with significant boosts to our economy.”
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The City of Jacksonville expects the weekend to bring in more than $20 million.
Mike Kenny with ASM Global said the company is proud and honored to host the game.
“We’ve been working year-round on this event in temporary seats, in fact, many of you may have seen at the last Jaguars game – temporary seat installation is in progress, and it’s being completed as we speak,” Kenny said
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City leaders said to expect road closures in the Sports Complex throughout the weekend.
This includes A Philip Randolph from Gator Bowl Boulevard to Duval Street.
Chief Ellis Burns with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said planning ahead is key.
“If you’d like to see kick-off with us, we advise you are in your parking spot five hours ahead of game time. So please plan on being parked by 10:30 in the morning for 3:30 kick-off.
Related: Georgia-Florida game: What to know ahead of Saturday’s matchup at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville
Chief Keith Powers with Jacksonville Fire and Rescue said if you need help – find someone in uniform.
“We want everybody to have a great time with the festivities but have a plan on how you’re gonna get home,” Powers said. “Do not drink and drive. We want everybody to have a safe and fun weekend.”
Fans shared their thoughts about the matchup.
“I hope the Gators chomp ‘em. The Bulldogs are good but I hope the Gators prevail,” said Gators fan Brian Flegle.
Others feel much differently.
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Logan Tihey will be watching the game from the TIAA Bank Field: cheering on his alma mater: University of Georgia.
“It’s the tradition,” Tihey said. “They’re both great institutions. Both fan bases get really fired up for the game, and I think they love the tradition and the community you get from tailgating. It’s a lot of fun.”
The City of Jacksonville told Action News Jax on Tuesday that in 2021, there were 7,400 parking spaces around TIAA Bank Field. On Saturday, there will be roughly 5,700.
This only accounts for ASM/city controlled lots. There are private lots in the sports complex that also contribute to the number of parking spots nearby.
“I’m not concerned about parking, because I live in Riverside which is a short uber ride over to the stadium – but for folks coming from out of town, it might be a little tough,” Tihey said.
Beyond traffic concerns for this year’s game, many question whether Georgia and Florida will continue playing in Jacksonville long-term.
Under the current contract, the rivalry game will be played in Jacksonville through 2023, with options to extend the contract to 2024 and 2025.
Related: Georgia-Florida: Schools will consider ‘multitude of factors’ in keeping game in Jacksonville
“I’m looking forward to helping the next administration keep this game in Jacksonville,” Mayor Curry said.
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