Georgia-Florida rivalry game staying in Jacksonville through 2025

The Georgia Bulldogs and Florida Gators announced Wednesday that the schools have exercised the option to play their annual rivalry game in Jacksonville during the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

The Georgia-Florida game has been played in Jacksonville since 1933, except for the 1994 and 1995 seasons during the construction of TIAA Bank Field. The Bulldogs and Gators are scheduled to meet on Oct. 28 for this year’s matchup.

The extension comes after Georgia head coach Kirby Smart expressed recruiting concerns with playing the game in Jacksonville prior to their most recent matchup last October, because NCAA rules don’t allow schools to host recruits at neutral sites.

“We’re allowed to use tickets, but we can’t host them,” Smart said last October. “We can’t do anything. So I never understood — I never understand — what would we do with them? We can’t legally see them. We can’t talk to them, we can’t host them. Visit with them.

“We can say, ‘There’s a ticket at the gate. Enjoy the game.’ So that’s really all we can do. We’ll do that. We’ll have some kids go to the game.”

Georgia athletic director Josh Brooks said in a release, “We are pleased with the decision to exercise the option that will keep the game in Jacksonville for 2024 and 2025. We look forward to discussions that I’m sure will continue over the next couple years exploring all the options for 2026 and beyond. We continue to be appreciative of the working relationship we have with the University of Florida and the City of Jacksonville.”

Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said, “The City of Jacksonville has been an historic host for one of the great rivalry games in all of college football. We are excited to have the game in Jacksonville for another two seasons.”

Georgia has won five of the last six meetings, most recently a 42-20 victory on Oct. 30, 2022, and leads the all-time series 55-44-2 (or 54-44-2, per Florida records).