GAINESVILLE -- The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party isn’t going anywhere.
The Florida-Georgia game will stay in Jacksonville through 2021, as first reported by Jacksonville.com Wednesday.
The two schools agreed on a five-year extension with the city, as the current contract was set to expire after the Oct. 29 game this fall.
“We could not be more excited about our continued partnership with two of the nation’s finest universities,” Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said in a statement.
“Our new agreement further strengthens the Georgia-Florida tradition we have enjoyed here in Jacksonville for 83 years. The legendary rivalry continues and the best is yet to come.”
The delay in contract negotiations was mainly over questions about the ongoing EverBank Field renovations and the potential impact on crowd capacity. Those concerns were alleviated, apparently, but the schools still hold plenty of leverage in future negotiations.
“We are excited to continue the tradition of playing the Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville,” UF athletics director Jeremy Foley said in a release.”
“As I’ve said a number of times over the years, the game belongs in Jacksonville. Thanks to the hard work and the cooperation of the city of Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Jaguars and our counterparts at Georgia, it will continue to be in Jacksonville.”
Both teams will reportedly receive a $125,000 signing bonus and $250,000 annually to defray expenses. The annual showdown is a cash-cow for the City of Jacksonville, as the game was once again a sellout in 2015. More than 5 million people watched the broadcast on CBS and the city made an estimated $35 million in revenue.
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