JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Kickoff for the Florida-Georgia game isn’t until Saturday, but hard-core fans already have been lining up around the stadium, getting ready for the parking lot known as RV City to open on Tuesday.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Sheriff Mike Williams talked Monday about the city’s plans to host the fans and the game -- and keep everyone safe. In addition to football, there will be a concert and a baseball game this weekend.
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Fans told News4Jax they’re expecting it to be somewhat different this year, after the event was scaled back last year during the pandemic. This year, because of construction on the Hart Bridge ramp, RV City is smaller. Parking spaces for RV City have been sold out for months.
“It’s totally different than in the past. A different feeling altogether,” Georgia fan Eddie Freeman said. “I’m disappointed that they cut RV city in half, so it will be different this year. We are going to have a good time regardless.”
Ron and Judy Skinner, Florida fans from Jacksonville’s Westside, showed up outside the stadium over the weekend and met up with many of the fans already in line for RV City. The Skinners said that they tried to book a spot online, but as they were waiting, RV City sold out. That was more than a month ago, so the Skinners are going to an alternate spot nearby.
“We are down for the party, so it doesn’t matter where we are at,” Judy Skinner said
As far as security goes, Jacksonville just had a violent weekend with eight people shot in six shootings around the city. Game organizers are setting up five safety zones should fans need any help.
“We try to keep our noses in the right place and we are not worried,” one said.
The game is a money-maker for businesses in the city. It’s estimated to bring in about $30 million in revenue. In the meantime, a new five-year contract with both universities will be voted on Tuesday night by the Jacksonville City Council.
The big thing that the city wants you to know about regarding Saturday’s game: Get there early. Parking lots will open at 8 a.m. for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff, but there are all types of special events going on all day.