JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The gates are open for RV City ahead of the annual Georgia-Florida game as fans from both SEC schools come together for days of tailgating, festivities, and football.
The City of Jacksonville held a news conference on Tuesday ahead of Saturday’s game at TIAA Bank Field. Big crowds are expected in downtown Jacksonville on Saturday. In addition to football, there will be a concert and a baseball game this weekend.
To kick off the festivities — Luke Bryan is set to perform Friday night at 7 p.m. at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Also on Friday — a baseball game! The Georgia Bulldogs will face the Florida Gators at 121 Financial Ballpark. A fireworks show will be held afterward.
“This is really important — a tradition for 90 years,” Jacksonville’s Mayor, Lenny Curry, said. “I grew up going to this game, (I) still go — it’s a fabric of this city. When you think of Jacksonville you think of this football game and the whole week leading up to it.”
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The big thing that the city wants you to know about regarding Saturday’s game: Get there early! With construction and huge crowds – traffic will be slow. 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.
Here’s more advice from officials: On Friday, parking is $15 for festivities; Arrive five hours early Saturday; Metal detectors will be in place on both days; Clear bag policy at venues; Extra police and officials will be out and about; JTA shuttles will be available; there will be 16 safety stations available.
“We will have undercover detectives and a large presence of uniformed police officers here downtown,” Chief Ellis Burns, with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, said. “Police and fire are helping with safety stations where fans can get information, first aid, or charge their phones.”
As far as RV City goes — there are a few rules for parking:
- Saving spaces is not allowed and no refunds will be issued
- All camping vehicles, trailers, and RVs must be self-contained
- Vehicles parking on city lots to visit campers must be removed by 2 a.m. each morning or they will be towed
- All campers must exit RV City by Sunday, October 30 at Noon
Once everyone is in place, they will transform the place into the ultimate game-ready party full of food, drinks, music and madness. Reservations for spots are sold out, and reservation holders have until 5 p.m. Thursday to check into their spots. People can try their luck by visiting GA-FL-JAX.COM and emailing email@example.com to be added to the list.
News4JAX spoke with some fans at RV City who said they look forward to this game every year, no matter if their team wins or loses.
“It’s an annual tradition – the tailgate that starts long before the big rivalry game,” Nancy Wall, a Georgia fan said.
“It’s a great time here, we’ve made a lot of friends — Georgia and Florid fans do it big every year,” Rich Dean, a Florida fan said.
There’s also talk about the future of the game here in Jacksonville. It’s been here since 1933, but the contract is up next year in 2023. Mayor Lenny Curry remains optimistic about the game which brings about $20 million in revenue.
The Georgia-Florida game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at TIAA Bank Field.