It’s known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, held the day before the annual rivalry game between the University of Georgia and the University of Florida football teams. The annual game has been played in neutral territory at TIAA Bank Field for years, home to the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Southeastern Conference schools released a joint statement today saying the decision has been made to continuing playing the annual rivalry game there at least through 2025.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart has wanted to move the game to the school’s campus sites for recruiting purposes, since the NCAA doesn’t allow schools to recruit at neutral sites. “I firmly believe that we’ll be able to to sign better players by having it as a home-and-home because we’ll have more opportunities to get them to campus,”
Florida coach Billy Napier doesn’t agree. He says it’s beneficial for both teams to play the game in Jacksonville. The payout this year is expected to be roughly $3 million for each school. That includes $1.25 million guaranteed, plus a split of ticket revenue and concession sales. The guaranteed payout will increase to $1.5 million for each school in 2024 and 2025.
UGA also gets $350,000 each year to cover travel and lodging expenses. That figure is just $60,000 for the University of Florida, since the team doesn’t have to fly.