Florida-Georgia game might move as stadium prepares for renovations

Renovations anywhere are always a tall task and the city of Jacksonville, Florida has big plans to re-do the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, EverBank Stadium in 2026.

Most Florida Gators fans should know that the football stadium also hosts the annual meetings between the Gators and Georgia Bulldogs, meaning the two schools need to agree on plans for where the rivalry matchup should be played in 2026 and 2027.

It’ll take a lot to get used to as The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party has been played in Jacksonville since 1933 — with a break in the mid-1990s for the last series of renovations.

The plan that makes the most sense is the programs trading a one-for-one for the respective years, once in Gainesville and the other game in Athens, Georgia.

The last time the teams traded home games was in when the city of Jacksonville renovated the Gator Bowl for the new-coming Jacksonville Jaguars. UF hosted the game in 1994 and then traveled to Athens in 1995.

Florida head coach Billy Napier says determining a temporary home for the rivalry game is a matter of “economics.”

Both schools are typically paid out $3 million each year, including a $1.25 million guarantee.

Georgia Bulldogs play called Kirby said he’s lobbying for the home-and-home because of the recruiting opportunity for in-state prospects but has gone back on that statement.

“I don’t really think about it anymore,” Smart said. “We are where we are. That really has not crossed my mind besides the offseason when I get asked about it. A lot more concerned with how we play than where we play.”

The programs also receive compensation for travel expenses. Florida is given $60,000 for the buses while UGA receives $350,000 for charter flights and hotels.

The next-closest NFL Stadium for both schools would be Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the current home of the Atlanta Falcons. It would certainly make up for Georgia having to cross the border every year and the split crowd could still be put into play.

Florida lost its most recent meeting with the Georgia Bulldogs, 43-20, in Week 9.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire