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UGA-UF economic impact tops $33M

Study by Visit Jacksonville shows local impact increased from 2013

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This year's annual Georgia-Florida football game proved to be even more successful than last year, with 132,882 out-of-town visitors generating $33.3 million in economic impact for Jacksonville, according to research by Visit Jacksonville.

The data shows the local impact increased $784,000 from 2013.

There were 37,118 room nights booked throughout the city for the game, generating $3.5 million in room revenue. Room revenue from hotel stays increased from 2013 by nearly $100,000. Nearly 17,000 jobs were supported by the weekend events, the research shows.

DOCUMENT: Georgia-Florida economic impact report

"Our annual Georgia-Florida game keeps getting bigger and better," said Mayor Alvin Brown. "This is an iconic tradition and we are grateful for the partnership that we have with the University of Florida and the University of Georgia. This special weekend boosts our local economy by attracting students, alumni and fans from across Florida, Georgia and beyond, as well as showcases our brand to a national audience."

The college football rivalry game and the events that support it have grown to be one of Jacksonville's signature events, attracting not just fans of the two teams, but also visitors from other states who want to experience the celebration and fun atmosphere that fills downtown Jacksonville during the weekend.

"Events like the Georgia-Florida game continue to show that Jacksonville is a major destination when it comes to sporting events," said Paul Astleford, president and CEO of Visit Jacksonville. "The city has the right infrastructure both in facilities and in city leadership to turn this game into a huge opportunity for the local community, while at the same time attracting hundreds of thousands of new visitors to experience all that Jacksonville has to offer."

Jacksonville was once again highlighted on the national stage during the event. According to CBS, this year's game produced 6.32 million viewers nationally for the CBS telecast and was the most watched game of the day.

"This week is always one that's circled on the calendar for college football fans and for local business, especially hotels and restaurants," said Daniel Davis, president and CEO of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce. "It's one of our city's signature events and an excellent opportunity to showcase our city. There's the immediate impact of money spent locally during the week, but the exposure for northeast Florida is a prime example of why we believe sports can be a significant driver of economic development."

Visit Jacksonville said it compiled the data through an economic impact calculator from Tourism Economics, an Oxford Company and Destination Marketing Association International. Click on the document provided to see a complete breakdown of the economic impact report.