It’s that time of the year again.
Thousands upon thousands of college football fans are currently in the process of descending upon Jacksonville in preparation for the yearly showdown between the Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs.
Whether you’re a football fanatic looking for the center of the action or just a Jax resident looking to avoid the crowds, there are a few things you’ll definitely want to know in advance of this weekend’s celebrations.
Here is our breakdown of the most crucial info regarding the big game. For anything that’s not covered here, check out the city’s website for the game: https://flgajax.com.
The game kicks off this Saturday at 3:30 PM at TIAA Bank Field. Fans are encouraged to show up at least five hours before the game begins to allow adequate time to navigate the intense traffic.
This year, both teams enter the crucial contest as top-ten teams. The #6 Gators sit at 7-1, and the #8 Bulldogs are 6-1. Georgia is currently favored to win by just under a touchdown in what’s expected to be a showdown for the ages.
Of course, the game is only half the attraction during FL-GA weekend.
RV City opened its doors to eager tailgaters on Tuesday, and the FL-GA Welcome Center opened yesterday in front of Met Park.
Tomorrow, the FL-GA Hall of Fame Luncheon will take place at noon, with Brad Culpepper, Brandon Spikes, Rennie Curran, and Jarvis Jones set to become the latest inductees.
At the Daily’s Place flex field starting at 1:00, the Bold City Bash Fan Fare kicks off with Hall of Fame exhibits and 3-on-3 flag football.
In the evening, the annual Gators vs. Bulldogs fall exhibition baseball game will be hosted by the Baseball Grounds, followed by a concert by country musicians Brett Young and Chase Rice.
The day of events ends with a block party along Adams St. and A. Philip Randolph Blvd. featuring food trucks, a beer garden, live entertainment, and sponsor giveaways.
The current forecast for the game indicates temperatures will be in the mid-60s, with a slight chance of rain. The lack of intense heat bodes well for overall safety at the game, but plenty of precautions will be in place anyway.
The city will have six “safety zones” set up around the celebrations. These UF Health-sponsored huts will provide medical assistance as well as info on transportation and phone-charging stations.
JSO will be providing live updates on traffic, road closures, and any other incidents on its Twitter account.
TRANSPORTATION / PARKING
As mentioned, the city is encouraging fans to show up hours early to make sure they get through the gates in time for kickoff.
JTA will be providing shuttle services from downtown hotels starting tomorrow, with continuous service from 11:30 AM until midnight. Gameday Xpress will also be operating from five different Park-N-Ride lots: the convention center lot, Kings Avenue Station, Beaches Lot near Wingate Park, JTB lot at 7020 Philips Hwy., and the Northside lot on Armsdale Rd.
For live traffic updates, follow JSO on Twitter (@JSOPIO).