City officials estimate over 150k downtown for Florida-Georgia game

Game could bring in as much as $24 million into local economy


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs play in Jacksonville at EverBank Field, it means there are an estimated 200,000 people in the downtown area not just watching the game, but enjoying the festivities.

Thousands of fans were watching the football game on the big screens at the Landing. In fact, city officials estimate that there are 150,000 to 200,000 people in the downtown area because of Saturday's game.

This means those fans could be bringing as much as $24 million into the local economy.

RELATED: Expected Florida-Georgia economic impact: $22-24M

A lot of businesses said they brought extra waiters, waitresses and bartenders to deal with the crowds. This is one of the biggest weekends in sales for them all year long.

Because it rained Friday night, the crowds were not as big as many had hoped, but they still say they had some pretty good revenue coming in.

Channel 4 caught up with many fans who were going to the game and others who were just enjoying the atmosphere, even though it's been a rough year for both teams.

"I've been safe and happy," said Georgia fan Madison Wilson. "Everybody's been really respectful to us."

"I feel like it's just been a great year," said Florida fan Chelsea Kosobucki. "I've been here for seven Florida-Georgia's and it's always great."

"Underwhelming at first but overwhelming at second thought," said tailgater Katie Fuller. "It's the battle of who sucks more. Florida or Georgia? We don't know."

Safety is always a big concern at Florida-Georgia, as police say they're also focusing on cracking down on underage drinking which has been known to be a problem in the past.

RELATED: Bars look to prevent underage drinking