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Florida wide receiver Justin Shorter (4) makes a reception in front of Georgia defensive back Kelee Ringo (5) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Georgia and Florida to Keep Annual Game in Jacksonville

The famously known Florida-Georgia game that has been played in Jacksonville since 1933 will stick around for two more years. Having to make a final decision before June 3o, the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs announced Wednesday that both schools will have their annual rivalry football game in Jacksonville during the 2024 and 2025 season. This game has been an October tradition every year since 1933. However, in 1994 and 1995, the game was played at the respective campuses due to the construction of TIAA Bank Stadium.

Games in Gainesville and Athens in Future?

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has not been quiet about wanting to move the game to campus sites for recruiting reasons. The NCAA doesn’t allow schools to host recruits at neutral sites. Although Florida and Georgia can leave tickets for recruits, Smart would rather have face-to-face contact. Smart believes they would be able to sign better players by having it at home.

On the other hand, Gators head coach Billy Napier thinks its beneficial for the teams to play in Jacksonville. Moreover, the rivalry could be pushed to campus sites in 2026-27. If Jacksonville agrees on a massive renovation to TIAA Bank Field, the game could be moved to Gainesville and Athens.

The payout from Jacksonville is expected to be around $3 million for each school in 2023. This figure includes $1.25 million guaranteed plus a split of ticket revenue and concession sales, according to an article from Yahoo. The guaranteed payout for each school would increase to $1.5 million in 2024 and 2025. Usually, a Gators home game generates between $2 million and $5 million. This number fluctuates depending on the opponent. So, a home series could bring in less revenue over a two-year span.

However, both teams are happy to be having the game back in Jacksonville for the 2024 and 2025 season.

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