Bulldogs, Gators score with new Jacksonville deal

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009 7:54 AM
Last updated 3:44 PM
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Georgia and Florida will play for the 77th time in Jacksonville Saturday in their annual rivalry game, and the city is making it more attractive for the schools to return under a new six-year deal that will keep the game there through 2016.

The schools and the city of Jacksonville have reached a verbal agreement for the game, University of Georgia executive athletic director Frank Crumley said Tuesday, but final details of the contract still are being worked out.

The current four-year contract ends after the 2010 game.

Among changes in the new deal:

-- The city of Jacksonville will pay for travel for the Georgia football team to fly out of Athens into St. Augustine, Fla. - where the team hotel is located - and fly back from Jacksonville to Athens after the game. That's worth more than $100,000 per year. Florida is currently picking up half of Georgia's travel cost.

-- Each school will get an additional $50,000 to offset expenses, including hotel costs and meals.

-- The schools will be allotted an additional 500 parking spaces at lots around Jacksonville Municipal Stadium to give each 1,500 spaces to distribute.

-- Control of the marketing assets to the game go to the two schools instead of being split three ways with the city of Jacksonville. Georgia received about $80,000 from marketing of the game last year.

-- The city will provide more alcohol control at The Landing in Jacksonville and ensure that a fair near the stadium won't be held at the same time as the game to avoid additional traffic.

Georgia nets about $1.6 million annually for the Florida game, which has been played in Jacksonville since 1933 with the exception of 1994 and 1995 when it moved to the campuses while the stadium was renovated. A home game in Athens is worth about $2.8 million for Georgia, but the Bulldogs rotate home and away with their SEC opponents.

"Going down there was not about the money," Crumley said. "It's about the tradition of the game without a doubt. These are things they did just to show both schools they wanted both schools there."

Under the deal, Georgia and Florida have the opportunity to maximize marketing opportunities that surround the game, including the possibility of signing a title sponsor for the game.

"It gives the schools greater control over marketing assets and inventory," Georgia associate athletic director Alan Thomas said. "This game certainly has not done the same marketing things that a Red River rivalry could do (between Texas and Oklahoma). With the marketing assets we've put in place with this, it gives us that ability to maximize the best opportunity. That doesn't mean we will, but over a six-year deal who knows what's going to happen over the next six years. We want to put ourselves in the most favorable opportunity."

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AWyld1
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AWyld1 10/28/09 - 07:31 am
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Are you kidding me? It's all

Are you kidding me? It's all about the money, Money is why we still have the sorry BCS crap!!!

markmjtx
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markmjtx 10/28/09 - 07:58 am
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Tradition? You are right on

Tradition? You are right on target, AWyld1. It is the money. I am in the minority, but I always believed this series should be played at Athens & Gainesville. You can see that Jacksonville came up with more money when rumors of sharing this series with the Georgia Dome were being discussed.

Drama Mamma
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Drama Mamma 10/28/09 - 08:24 am
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I hope that the GA Dawgs beat

I hope that the GA Dawgs beat some butt on Saturday. GO DAWGS!!!!

justthefacts
25478
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justthefacts 10/28/09 - 09:34 am
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It's a great weekend. Totally

It's a great weekend. Totally unique and a great time for UGA fans (win or lose). Hope it never changes!

WhippingPost
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WhippingPost 10/28/09 - 10:49 am
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Jacksonville knows how to

Jacksonville knows how to make an effort. Just the rumor of looking for a new location encouraged them to sweeten the deal. Both schools and the city benefit from this game...and it's a great location.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 10/28/09 - 11:48 am
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WP, we stay on Amelia Island

WP, we stay on Amelia Island and take a boat (floating bar) to the stadium. Don't get much better than that.

asustudent75
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asustudent75 10/28/09 - 08:36 pm
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Go Dawgs!!! I dont care

Go Dawgs!!! I dont care where the game is played...I look forward to this every year!!

TechLover
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TechLover 10/29/09 - 07:18 am
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thwg!

thwg!

WhippingPost
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WhippingPost 10/29/09 - 07:29 am
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lol TL. I had to google that

lol TL. I had to google that to know what it meant. I finally understand the TL name. Dang I'm slow.

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