As time was running out to hammer home a new deal, the Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs and EverBank Field have agreed to keep the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville, Florida, for five additional years.
The Florida-Georgia contract, set to expire in 2016, carries with it expectations from both schools about the number of seats available to their fan bases, particularly in premium sections. As those that have attended the game know, the stadium has added temporary bleacher seating to the back of each end zone in the past to fit a desired amount of fans in the game. Seating, of course, is literally split down the middle between the two programs.
With EverBank Field undergoing major renovations as of late, there was worry from the Gators and Bulldogs that both club seating and overall capacity would be reduced. Those fears seem to have been calmed for now.
Should Florida and Georgia decided against remaining in Jacksonville, options would have included playing at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta (set to open in 2017), Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, the Citrus Bowl in Orlando or perhaps even removing the neutral-site aspect of the game and playing at each team’s home field.
The game has been played in Jacksonville 80 times in the last 82 seasons with a home-and-home break in 1994-95 due to stadium renovations. Prior to 1933, the Gators and Bulldogs met in five different locations over a 12-game span.
Florida is 50-42-2 all-time against Georgia with wins in 21 of the last 27 meetings dating back to 1990.