JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If there is a college football season in 2020, the Florida-Georgia game will be played in Jacksonville.
Athletic directors at both Florida and Georgia both said this week that there are no plans to move their annual rivalry football game out of Jacksonville during the COVID-19 pandemic. Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said on Tuesday that if there’s a season, that game should still be held in Jacksonville.
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity followed that on Thursday when he told the DawgNation website the game would remain in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars announced earlier this month that they planned to limit attendance at home games at TIAA Bank Field this season by 75% due to COVID-19 precautions, leading to a buzz about the Florida-Georgia game moving to a campus site this year due to the coronavirus. Under those guidelines, the Jaguars will have roughly 17,000 fans in the stadium.
The Florida-Georgia game is Oct. 31.
“Scott and I spoke about this on Monday and agreed the game would remain in Jacksonville,” McGarity told the website.
Stricklin said on Tuesday that if games are being played this year, then he thinks the Florida-Georgia game should be held where it always is.
“I really haven’t had any conversation about moving it out of Jacksonville. I know I saw in the news somewhere, I hadn’t studied it, but the Jags had a reduced seating capacity plan,” he said. “I’m sure that’s something that if we get to the point where we’re playing that game there [Jacksonville] that we would try and use as appropriate depending on where we are in the process and what the requirements are.
“… Really haven’t had any conversation about moving to campus. Our hope is to be able to play the game and be able to play in Jacksonville in some form.”
The SEC hasn’t announced its plans for the 2020 season, saying that it would wait until later this month to make a decision on how to proceed. The Big Ten and the Pac-12 have announced that they would play conference-only games in 2020.
The NCAA is still in the process of releasing its plans for the 2020 season, including testing parameters and quarantining procedures. It has said that college athletes should be tested for COVID-19 no more than 72 hours before they play and everybody on the sideline should wear a mask.