Around The SEC

How much longer will the Florida Gators play the Georgia Bulldogs in Jacksonville?

The annual football game between the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs is staying in Jacksonville through 2023.

The two programs announced the agreement to extend their annual game in Jacksonville, which has been played every year since 1933 with the exception of 1994 and 1995 when the Gator Bowl was renovated for the annual bowl game and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“I want to thank both University Presidents, Dr. Kent Fuchs and Jere W. Morehead, Athletic Directors Greg McGarity and Scott Stricklin as well as the coaches and athletic organizations for agreeing that Jacksonville should continue to be the host city for such an important sports entertainment tradition,” Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said in a news release. “The partnership that we have with the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, and the City of Jacksonville proves that our community is the right home for this very special rivalry.”

The future of the game is a source of contention among Georgia fans, who either want it to stay or moved to a home-and-home series. The Bulldogs miss a home game every other year with the game played in Jacksonville.

UGA coach Kirby Smart discussed the recruiting effects for the Bulldogs during the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Florida earlier this year with DawgNation.

“Yeah, absolutely it costs you a recruiting weekend,” Smart said. “You don’t get to have anybody, they don’t get to have anybody. So our version of the LSU-Alabama game is held in Jacksonville and we don’t have prospects. So it’s not conducive to recruiting, absolutely it’s not.

“It’s just the way it’s been done here before. It’s just not great for recruiting because you lose a home game every other year and that just comes with it. But it certainly helps to have more home games.”

The new agreement extends the game in Jacksonville through the 2023 season with the two schools having the option of extending it an additional two years through 2025.

This year’s game is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on Nov. 2 with the Bulldogs ranked No. 10 and the Gators ranked No. 7.

Both teams are on byes this week.

Tickets and the stadium for the UF-UGA game are split 50/50. Depending on which school you ask, the all-time series is either 51-43-2 , according to UF, or 52-43-2, according to UGA, in favor of the Bulldogs.

The Gators dispute a Georgia win in 1904 as against one of their predecessor schools.

Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.
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