Is Florida-Georgia going to stay in Jax?
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's a game that has been here for years, and fans are hopeful it will stay for a long time in the future. But as things stand, the contract for the Georgia-Florida game expires after next year's game.
Many of the fans who have been out all week have been coming here not only to tailgate, but also to go to the game for years. They say the experience keeps getting better, especially with some of the new upgrades inside the stadium. They say it wouldn't have the same feel in another city.
Families and friends spend the week in RV City having a great time in Jacksonville, reconnecting with fans they haven't seen since the same time last year. They aren't sure how things would go if the game was somewhere else.
"It would not be a Georgia-Florida game if it was not in Jacksonville on the river. The Landing, Ruths Chris for dinner after the game, it's just tradition. A lifelong tradition," fan Rocky Roquemore said.
It's a statement shared by many fans, including Gator's fan Melanie Davilla.
"RV City has always been in Jacksonville. We love when the Bulldogs come. We couldn't have RV City without them and we want the game to stay in Jacksonville," Davilla said.
And for fans like Dee Britt, it's a chance to let loose and have a great time. And according to her, what happens in Jacksonville, stays in Jacksonville.
"It's just part of the whole experience. You are close to the beach, you are away from home, and you can act crazy and nobody back home will ever know. Unless you're on TV," Britt said.
Rick Catlett, the president of the Jax Sports Council said the city is negotiating with the two universities, trying to do everything he can to keep the game at EverBank Field. He said he doesn't think fans should be overly worried about losing the game.
"The one good thing is the universities want to keep it here, the city wants to keep it here, we want to keep it here, and the Jaguars want to keep it here. If everybody wants to keep it here, surely we can find a common ground to keep it here," Catlett said.
There were a couple of cities mentioned to host the game if it leaves Jacksonville. Outside of the two teams own campuses Tampa and Atlanta were included. But fans have put out messages saying, "Keep the game in Jax," around RV City showing their support.
"It's a great city to have the game in. Both sides, whether you are a Georgia fan or a Florida fan, we want the game here in Jacksonville so we are going to do everything we can to make sure the game stays here. This is one way to send a message to the committee that we want to keep the game here in Jacksonville," Georgia fan Marty Cheek said.
The Florida Gators arrived for their walk-through inside of the stadium Friday with fans cheering them on as their buses headed down Gator Bowl Boulevard. Those fans hoping to see the team buses heading to EverBank field for years to come.
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