The Florida Gators and Idaho Vandals have decided to cancel – rather than reschedule – their season-opening college football game, which was set to take place on Saturday, Aug. 30 from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, before first being delayed and then suspended due to weather.
Florida will pay Idaho its contractually agreed upon $975,000 fee for the game. The schools also agreed to schedule a contest as part of their the 2017 season slates.
“We looked at a number of options and, in the end, we both thought it was in the best interest of our student-athletes and football programs to play out the remainder of our respective schedules as they stand,” Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a school release.
Added Vandals AD Rob Spear: “I want to thank UF, especially AD Jeremy Foley, for the professional and first-class way they worked through this issue and the focus on student-athlete welfare. It was not in our best interest to play 11 consecutive weeks without a bye week. We look forward to our return to Florida in 2017.”
Though both programs shared an open date on Oct. 25, moving the game to that day would have forced Florida to play nine-straight games to end the regular season; Idaho would have been even worse off, competing in  consecutive contests without a break.
Moving the game to Oct. 25 also would have cost UF its regularly-scheduled bye week ahead of its annual neutral-site rivalry game against Georgia in Jacksonville. UGA also has an open date the week before the game, giving it an advantage on its border rival should the UI game have been moved to that day.
Other options were reportedly considered, such as the Gators and Vandals meeting in December, but such a decision would have been a conflict for Florida team hoping to play in its league title game (Dec. 6) and/or a postseason bowl game this year.
Full refunds are being offered for fans who purchased tickets to the game. For more information on the ticket refund policy for this game, click here.
Gators aren't losing any money in this deal. They budgeted $975K to pay Idaho and insurance will cover lost ticket revenue for canceled game
— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) September 3, 2014