Afternoon delight: Gator Bowl will kick off at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 30

News4JAX Insiders can win a 4-pack of tickets to the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl from Dec. 20 - Dec. 31.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For the first time in six years, the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl will be played on Dec. 30. The game, which has been played as early as Dec. 27 was played on Jan. 2 following the 2019 and 2020 seasons before being played on New Year’s Eve in 2021.

The last time the game was a Dec. 30 kickoff in 2017, Lamar Jackson’s Louisville Cardinals fell to Mississippi State 31-27.

“I can’t think of a better way for fans to celebrate the New Year’s holiday than spending the weekend in Jacksonville at the 78th annual TaxSlayer Gator Bowl game,” said TaxSlayer Gator Bowl Chairman Nelson Bradshaw.

”The green jacket committee is actively planning a full slate of activities in support of this year’s game that will serve fans, friends, and families alike. We look forward to hosting a team from both the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference in Jacksonville for a week in our beautiful city.”

Last year’s Gator bowl was impacted by COVID-19. The original matchup of Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M was altered because of an outbreak in the Aggies’ program. So, Rutgers accepted an invitation to replace Texas A&M. The Demon Deacons won the game 38-10.

This year’s kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Bill Gay Grounds at TIAA Bank Field.

The 78th annual game will feature a team from the Southeastern Conference (SEC) that will serve as the anchor team and will face an opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which also includes the University of Notre Dame. Teams will be announced on Dec. 4.

Tickets for the game are scheduled to go on sale on Sept. 1 through Ticketmaster. Fans who purchase tickets from a Gator Bowl “Green Jacket Member” before Dec. 1 will receive preferred pricing.