JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The inaugural Publix Bold City Showcase, a full day of high school football Saturday at The Bolles School, is expected to draw a crowd of 10,000-15,000 people.
The three-game showcase features clashes between Bartram Trail and Lee (1 p.m.), Atlantic Coast and Mandarin (4 p.m.) and Bolles and University Christian (7 p.m.). All three will be played at Bolles.
All three games will be televised live on WJXT, livestreamed on News4Jax.com and broadcast on the radio on 1010 XL and 92.5 FM.
What to know about parking
That many fans means parking is free for all. Be prepared to do some walking, because parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and the minimal spots on campus will fill up quickly.
Alan Verlander, the CEO of Airstream Ventures, who is overseeing the showcase, said if you live in Jacksonville, you should be familiar with waiting.
"We're expecting a full capacity and even standing room only, so you've just got to be patient on parking," Verlander said. "Fans are used to walking distances to the Jaguars games, and so you're going to have to walk a distance to the high school game. It's going to be no different."
Here are the main options you'll have Saturday:
- On campus, on both sides of the stadium.
- Parallel parking up and down San Jose Boulevard
- Street parking in nearby neighborhoods
Past that, it's wherever you can find that's legal.
Verlander said they'll have officers with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office helping with traffic flow on San Jose Boulevard and also stationed inside the stadium to monitor safety.
"We have security, we have volunteers, we have JSO officers that will be all a part of this, and so they'll be monitoring just the parking situation where everybody needs to be," Verlander said. "Making sure people aren't doing crazy stuff."
If you don't want to deal with parking at all, you can always use a ride-sharing service. There is no designated ride-share drop-off spot so wherever the driver can safely and closely let you out, you can be dropped off.
"It's going to save you a lot of time. May cost you a teeny bit more money, but in the grand scheme of things, I think it could be the best opportunity out there," Verlander said.
All parking is free, and there will be no road or lane closures in the area for the event.
Handicapped parking will be the spots already designated as such on campus, which is also first-come, first-served.
General admission tickets available
Club seats have already sold out, but general admission tickets are still available for $10. Students, faculty and staff get a discounted $5 ticket with ID.
There will be two tents set up on both sides of the stadium. You can either print your ticket in advance or have staff scan your email confirmation at the gate.
"If you pre-purchased online, there will be pre-sale line that you'll get in," said Kenedy Talley, administration and partnership coordinator for Airstream Ventures. "We'll have scanners, we'll be able to scan your ticket and if you've got a VIP ticket, we'll put a band on you. And if you bought a general admission, we'll just stamp your hand and you'll be good all day to come and go."
What if you lose your ticket or your cell phone has no service? There will be a list of names of those who have paid. But Talley said that will be treated as a last resort.
"It'll be more helpful for them to bring it, so we can scan it and scan them in and that'll help get the process going a little faster," she said. "But if, for some reason, WiFi is crashing and people aren't able to access it, we will have the list for them as well."
Security measures are in place
There is no clear-bag policy in place, but you and your bag will both be screened by security before you go inside. There will be JSO officers outside helping with traffic, as well as to keep an eye on safety.
In addition to officers, first responders and paramedics will be on standby for any emergencies that arise. Verlander said that could include heat-related issues.
"The players, they're in great shape, coaches are in great shape, but we're prepared," he said. "We've got EMS that if anyone were to fall out, we could take them to a nearby hospital."
Speaking of the heat outside...
Verlander said part of the planning that went into the event was focused on the hot weather.
"Just preparing for the worst and hoping for the best," he said. "I think any event planning, you want to take a look at every plan...A, B, C, D and E, and so we've been planning that for months, and we have a good game plan."
For athletes playing in the showcase, there will be ice and tents on hand on the sidelines. There also will be hydration zones and ice baths waiting for them, as well as misting fans.
There will be plenty of shaded tents and water for fans to make sure everyone enjoys a sunny day of football safely. Fans are asked to come hydrated and stay hydrated throughout the day.
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